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Better Network Backup for Small Business

  • Mar 02, 2017 - Custom Computer Services & more
  • Posted 5 months ago
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Better Network Backup for Small Business - blog post image

Don't let a bad backup solution keep your business down. Automatic image-based backup with local and secure cloud copies that are continually verified and provide quick and simple recovery options are now affordable to all businesses.

Define disaster

It's only a matter of time before any company experiences a loss of access to their files due to deletion, corruption, server failure or even a disaster. How are you set to recover? Old standards of backup used a series of tapes or other media that had to be swapped out regularly to maintain any sort of historical backup. Getting these off-site from the main office was critical to ensuring data would be available in the event of fire, flood or other damage to the sight where the server was housed. This type of backup strategy, even though jobs might run on an automated schedule, still relied heavily on human interaction to monitor, troubleshoot, and test. Media wore out and cost of replacement combined with software expenses and employee compensation for the time spent managing it made this solution pretty expensive. Additionally, the technology used for these types of backups have many reasons they can fail meaning that when it comes time to restore, exact versions of files may not be available. Searching media for the right backup point takes time as does the restore.

For the reasons noted above, many small companies have resorted to using online services for backup which is more automated and takes the media portion out of the picture. However, those solutions that do "full server/system" backup can take days to upload or download an image, so frequent updates may be days before getting started. Restorations of entire systems, if needed, are painfully slow. These backup solutions often get pricey, too, given the volume of data to be stored, so they get limited in how historical they can be. Retention of oldest files may only be a matter of a few weeks or even days. To address these issues, most have resorted to selecting only a few folders to be captured. This makes for faster backups, typically with more retention on smaller volumes of data. Many small businesses are not aware that they need to be concerned about security and integrity of the solutions they choose. Most use a set-it-and-forget-it approach and never check to verify that their jobs are running successfully and that the data is viable if it should be needed. Others, up to 15% of small to medium sized businesses, do no backup at all!

We've been on the hunt for a solution for small businesses which provides reliable, comprehensive protection at an affordable cost with security and scalability options. Until now, we had a great BDR (Backup Disaster and Recovery) option, but it's far from cheap. The alternative has been to set customers up with other backup solutions which rely on our own regular monitoring and end-user media management--which, let's face it, often gets forgotten for days. This puts companies in a position of significant risk. We now have a solution which has enough options to provide a strong foundation toward building an effective Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plan  for any business. We now offer Datto backup solutions to our customers. These solutions  are fully automated, provide continuous protection, are stored securely and provide instant recovery. Through the use of a small appliance installed on the network, backup 'snap-shots' are taken at custom intervals throughout the day--from cycles of minutes to hours. These are stored on the appliance and copies are uploaded to a secure cloud location over encrypted connections. Because these backups are imaged-based snapshots rather than file copies, they never fail due to "files in use" errors which occurs with the old tape-backup solutions. Even though these are image-based backups, the ability to restore individual files is still possible.

If a site or server suffers damage that prevents the server from operating as it should on the network, a virtual server can be enabled in the cloud and allow users access to its functionality from there until a repair or replacement is made. Higher-end options allow the appliance to spin up a virtualized machine locally--right on the same network, so there is no need to work over the Internet. Backups are tested on schedule with Screenshot Verifications; which simply means a virtual machine is spun up and booted to a login screen to prove the backup is good. If there are ever any failures or alerts, emails to specified recipients are triggered. We customize the alerts to send us a log and screenshot daily to document continued success of the appliance just because we don't always believe that "no new is good news". Sometimes it just means the alert system is broken!

The smallest appliance is suitable for small servers and even desktops. Each appliance allows backup of two small systems if desired. This makes the Datto Alto2 the perfect solution for even the smallest office. Again, other solutions allow more functionality. Contact us today to find out how you can get started on your business continuity plan and have some peace of mind.

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