Businesses are losing data because ‘backing up’ is at the bottom of their to-do list.
So this is your reminder! Even if you only do this once a year when the calendar tells you to, it’s time to flip that to-do list and make it happen!
But how? What’s the easiest, most effective way for your business to backup data?
You’ve probably heard of file backup by a number of names: Cloud Sync, Cloud Backup or Cloud Storage. They’re all similar enough to be confusing and meaningless enough to be anything. Here’s what they mean and which one you need today.
Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, etc are services that sync up with a single folder on your computer. They mirror it. When a file changes in one, the sync service rushes to change it on your computer too, so they are always the same. Cloud Sync services are hugely flexible for remote employees, or even those squeezing in a few quick tasks while riding the train to work. They’re ridiculously easy to use, require no training, and the free tiers are enough for most individuals. This all sounds amazing, right? Except…when things go wrong, they go wrong big time. Accidentally deleting a file means it disappears from the Cloud Sync drive – almost immediately. Overwriting a file does the same thing, and if an employee makes edits to the wrong file, then those edits are there to stay. If disaster strikes and your local copy becomes corrupted (or ransomed), well you guessed it, the corruption is uploaded too. While some Cloud Sync services now offer a 30-day backup option, you may not notice the file was missing within this time.
Cloud Sync services are fantastic for productivity and accessing files on the go. But they simply can’t be relied on as your backup tech.
Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, etc are massive buildings full of storage drives that work just like your local hard drive, except you access them securely via the internet. In fact, when you use a cloud sync app like Dropbox, they’re actually sending your data to one of these locations. While the sync services have a constant back and forth connection between the storage center and your folder, and as explained above aren’t good for backup, you have another option. You can access cloud storage on a per/GB basis yourself and upload your entire backup as desired. It won’t update with changes on your local network, but it will be safe from disaster. When you need to retrieve a file, you simply login and download it.
Your backed up data is secure, protected against disaster, and always available to you. However, because it relies on you/your employee to handle the backup plan and manually take care of the uploads, this is a high-risk solution. Unless your employee is scouring your network each day/week/month for changes to files and uploading them with fervent dedication, chances are this plan won’t work. We recommend an automated or outsourced solution so you can get on with business AND be protected.
Carbonite, Backblaze backup, Crashplan, etc might not be names you’ve heard before, but they work in the background to monitor changes to files on your computer or network and make sure you’re backed up. You can roll back individual files or whole drives, and even select from earlier backups, not just one. Like sync services, they use cloud storage centers with extra-high security and redundancy. This way your data is always there when you need it. Even better, neither you nor your employees need to worry about when it was last done.
The One You Need
Let’s take a moment to talk planning. We recommend starting with the 3-2-1 strategy.
This means having 3 copies in total:
- 2 of them locally (such as on your computer and an external drive)
- and another offsite in the cloud.
Using this strategy keeps your business operating when data disasters occur and is an investment in your uptime. We can help get you set up with the 3-2-1 method, including selecting the best cloud service for your needs. If you’re looking for a more scalable, cost-effective solution that gives the utmost peace of mind, ask about our managed backups service.
By: Meredith Clark
About Higher State Technology
At HST, we focus on your technology, so you don’t have to. We are the Strategic IT Partner to SMBs in central Texas, and support every stage of business growth, from startups to mid-market organizations. We are Austin-based with local helpdesk, dispatch and certified technicians. Since 2004, we have taken a highly personal approach to managing business technology day-to-day for companies and/or providing advanced techs and systems administrators to support a company’s IT staff in times of need (such as changes in talent or special projects or expertise required). Now, you can focus on your business, and we will provide Strategic IT Planning to help you build and manage the plan for making IT investments that match the growth of your business. As master technology integrators and innovators, our goal is to inspire the use of technology to improve the human experience through working systems that foster collaborative relationships and business success.