In a previous post we discussed how technical mishaps can leave your company exposed. But, imagine how exposed your business can become after a natural disaster sweeps through the area and eliminates all of your computer data. What do you do?
If your data is backed up, you will probably be less worried than if you did not take the proper steps to back up your data. In order to continue doing business, your company will have to suffer through a costly and painful restoration process. If the exhausting restoration process does not scare you, maybe this will: according to a study by Gartner Group, 43% of companies shut down immediately after major data loss, and of the remaining percentage only 6% survived within two years. Natural disasters, computer viruses, fires, and other accidents strike businesses often, so it’s best that your company is ready when one hits.
When thinking about backing up your company’s computers, you might not know how or where to start. The first thing to know about data backups is redundancy, a type of data protection that can help get your company’s computers up and running as quickly as possible. Redundancy protects data in multiple places so that when one copy is ruined another is available in a different location. It may behoove a company to have an onsite and offsite backup location so that in the event of a natural disaster there is always one space with safely stored data. Compare this process to a bakery. A baker makes two dozen cupcakes and puts one dozen on display on the counter. After a reckless child ruins them by knocking them all on the floor, the baker can easily replace them with the other batch. This is similar to what backups do with data. Now that we have a basic understanding of what redundancy is, let’s take a look at some different types of backups.
Types of Redundancy:
One of the most basic forms of backup is the cloud backup. This form of redundancy is more suited for consumers than for businesses; nevertheless, it is necessary to discuss. Cloud storage takes data from devices and computers and backs them up in “the cloud.” This cloud is essentially an office warehouse where major data is stored. Popular cloud storage services include Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Amazon Cloud Drive, and Dropbox. Most of these allow for 5GB to 15GB of free space, and then they require a monthly fee for any storage larger than that. One cloud backup that is geared more towards businesses is Crashplan, which allows for bigger backups with better protection.
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
Another form of redundancy is Network Attached Storage (NAS). This is exactly what it sounds like; storage drives attached to your network. With NAS, multiple drives are linked to your router for easy storage. This option is great for companies that want to centralize their storage location. All of the company computers can be attached to a location and accessed by a group of users. This option can be quick, efficient, easy to use, and secure, but it can also be costly and limited by certain systems.
Perhaps the most well-known to those in the industry, RAID is a backup system that connects two or more hard drives so that businesses can always have a second copy of their data. Redundancy Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) actually has numerous levels, so it would be too time consuming to explain every single one. In order to get an overview of RAID, we will discuss two basic concepts with it: striping and mirroring. RAID 0 uses “striping” to spread data across multiple drives. The data is written across these drives in order to increase performance and speed. Another level is RAID 1, which uses “mirroring” to copy data from one drive to another drive. Many other RAID levels exist that process data through variations of striping and mirroring.
Businesses must understand that redundancy is the key to not fail in the event of data loss. The idea is that data is stored in a redundant manner so that none of it is ever lost. Cloud backups, NAS, and RAID are all great choices for businesses looking to protect their data. There are many things to keep in mind when deciding which option is best for you. One thing to be aware of is that the space you will need for storage is dependent on the size of space on your computer. Also, remember that your data is important, so paying for a quality option and external drive is not always a bad thing. Disasters and accidents can happen to your company at any time, so make sure you are ready with the right back up plan when one hits.
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