What stymies most people is the set up processes.
It is important that you know Australian Internet speeds come nowhere near the speeds in the US and Europe, therefore online backup abilities are very limited for Small Business.
Do you know what the golden rules are for backups? The Rule of Threes must be obeyed.
Keep a minimum of three copies of your data:
- The original
- The onsite backup
- The offsite backup.
Only with these can we make it through, fire, theft, flooding, accidental deletion/change, etc.
What are the Choices for Small Business?
- Portable Hard Drives – The easiest solution. Simply have two hard drives setup through Time Machine (Mac) or File History/Recovery (Windows 7/8). Have one onsite and rotate it offsite with the second, preferably rotated at least once a week.
- Online – Through Onedrive, Dropbox, Sugarsync, etc we can have a replica of our data on the internet. While this is a great solution, internet speeds in Australia do limit this. Many Small Businesses are running on an ADSL connection and the ‘A’ in ‘ADSL’ stands for Asymmetric, which means it comes down fast and goes up very slowly. Most ADSL2 connections would copy 3Gb up to the Internet, if left on for 24 hours. Just not practical. The other concern is that this gives us one replica of the data, not a true backup, because if your data becomes corrupted, then the replica instantly changes to be the same as the corrupted data.
- Tape – Many people may think this is a dinosaur, though like a crocodile, they are still very much around today. Tape’s have a much longer lifespan than disks and are not subject to damage through bumps and knocks like a hard disk. They are more expensive in today’s world, however they are small, lightweight and will retain comfortably data for legal and accounting lifespans (12/7 years).
So which is best for your business?
Every business has a cost point for data recovery times. This means that if you are a business that is constantly selling and shipping goods, having your data offline for 24 hours can potentially kill your business. While a service based firm may be fine having the data offline for 72 hours. Every business is unique and this is where we at Adaptable IT can really give you the best advice.
What do you Backup?
Many businesses backup every computer, including the program files, data, videos, personal photos etc. This is a huge waste of resources. All a business needs to backup is its data. Programs and operating systems can be downloaded and replaced, personal photos shouldn’t be on business machines and often cost businesses thousands of dollars to backup. If you have an online e-mail service such as Office 365 or Gmail, then your e-mail data is already in the cloud and already backed up. This can be safely left out of the backup.
One check that I would always advise you to do before backing up a server, is search for all multimedia files. It’s not uncommon to see one person’s illegal video collection on your business server, tripling the size of the backups you need to do and putting you at legal risk.
It’s always a good ideas to test your backup data. Just relying on the tick that said the backup completed may leave you at risk, if the device has a minor defect. Restoring a file, or two, from your backup device each month and testing it, will give you a good indication that the backups are actually working and not just reporting that they are.
In the worst case scenario of flood, fire, etc. Once our server(s) have been replaced, our offsite backup(s) can be brought in and all our data is saved (Yay).
Adapting technology to suit your business