What to Look For in a Backup Product!

So in my last blog I started to talk about upgrading to Windows 8, so it seems a logical thing to talk about backup’s before we go through the steps of updating Windows; you know, just in case.

How often are you able to run your backups? How long does each backup take to complete? Is it acceptable for a single backup to occur daily or weekly with the probability of losing a full day or weeks’ worth of work? Can the server handle multiple backups being run daily? Can your data be restored with all of the same permissions on the folders? What is the plan in case of an emergency? These are some of the questions you should be asking of any backup solution implemented for your business.

There are so many choices when it comes to backup solutions that it can seem impossible to make the right decision. You may not see the value in some options over others. You may feel there is no difference between this option and the next as long as a backup is occurring. In every company your data is the most important asset you have. Some aspects of a business can be replaced / rebuilt, but some are harder than others. Your data fits in this latter category.

With so many adequate solutions available, there are some factors to take into consideration that will set adequate apart from good. These should help you eliminate some of the competition from your list.

File based backup solutions are fast becoming an old technology and a thing of the past, with full system restores taking 12 hours or more. Newer image based backup technology can perform full system restores within 3 hours or less. Virtual server environments are making these times even quicker and allow for effective testing; your backup is only as good as the last restore, after all.
Points of failure are an important consideration when choosing the best solution. For example, a small external disk can be dropped and the data compromised, therefore we consider multiple disks and data on another destination. Has someone reviewed these points with you?

A NAS (Network Attached Storage) is a great addition to any backup plan, and is very affordable to most businesses. It takes a significant load off the server, is focused on capturing your backup as fast as possible, and (in the case of an emergency) are light enough to take easily out of the building.

Monitoring and constant check-ups are the most valuable item when choosing any backup solution. Your backups are only as good as your last restore. When did you last see a file restored?

If you would like to review your current backup strategy, organise a test restore, or have any questions, please contact Imagine IT Consultants and we can go through your options.

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