Before the introduction of cloud computing and the widespread acceptance and use of the internet, the only way to back up work was locally through disk and tape space, or the create a virtual tape library. Before disks and tapes, work was transcribed and maintained in large vaulted archives. Thankfully, innovations have virtually eliminated the need for wasteful physical archives and cloud computing is still more cost-effective than keeping a virtual tape library. Here are some important considerations for creating a backup strategy for your business.
Your company is not static, but a backup plan might be. Backups, if not hosted in the cloud, are snapshots of your day-to-day work. Just about everyone has had a file crash on them. Even with automatic backups built into our software products, we still lose information when a system crashes. After all, we are dynamic; backups are not.
Therefore, it is imperative that backup procedures are run at least daily on most systems to preserve data.
Cloud computing service providers can offer an even better peace of mind with real-time backups imaged in the cloud and connected to via a virtual machine if local systems fail.
Check for Backups
The only thing worse than losing your critical data is not being able to recover it because your backup failed. Whether you are backing up locally or using a cloud service provider, it is essential to check that backups are available.
Most software and applications designed for backing up systems has reports and daily logs that can be checked. Failures happen and catching these failures before it’s too late is critical to maintaining your data.
Have a DIY Backup Strategy
Whether you chose a local or cloud backup method, you can always add a safety net for critical files. File hosting services, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, are an excellent way to ensure your critical files are always available to you, and on any device.
These drives are virtual, and the data resides in the cloud. If your system fails, you can access the files from any other device. Additionally, if you use the online applications, you are working in a dynamic environment and will not lose any data, or have only a marginal data loss at worst.
File hosting services also make it extremely easy to collaborate with others and work from anywhere. As a secondary backup, this is a DIY backup strategy that should be considered when developing a strong plan for your company.
Ultimately, your backup strategy should focus on speed of recovery for operationally critical data and applications. Choosing the right method should always fit your business needs and consider the short-term and long-term costs of implementing a backup strategy. Cloud computing has come a long way in a short time and will continue to offer attractive, cost-effective methods over local strategies. Businesses serious about their continuity should consider all the possibilities when developing a backup strategy.