Unless you want to manual copy every file you have, backing up your data requires backup software - applications that enable backup of any data, sometimes the whole drive, and sometimes the computer operation system (OS) as well.
To conserve space on the backup drive, the software will often perform incremental backups. Incremental backups only save the changes to the data that have occurred since the last full backup was made. Also to save space, backup files are often compressed and extracted to their original state only when needed.
Many computer operating systems (OS) come with a backup software included. Apple includes Time Machine on Mac computers. Microsoft includes Windows Backup with its Windows OS. While these application suit the needs of many, others choose to use popular third-party applications such as Acronis, Veeam, Backupassist, or others because they have additional capabilities such as:
- Restoration of individual folders
Backup HardwareObviously you need to backup your files somewhere. For a quick backup of document files, a thumb drive (external USB drive) might be perfectly adequate. For more comprehensive backups it’s better to backup to an external hard drive or to a local server, if one is available. But these storage options won't help you recover from a calamity at your place of business unless they are routinely stored elsewhere. That’s where a backup strategy comes into play.
In case of a natural disaster or catastrophe, the most useful backup would be stored at a remote location. You could either store your backup off-site (at a different location than your computer) or back up to the cloud. The first option sounds simple, but sometimes proves difficult as it usually involves having multiple external hard-drives and rotating them so that at least one is somewhere else.
Backing Up to the CloudThat’s one of the reasons that cloud backups are becoming popular. Cloud backups entail securely copying your data over the Internet to storage devices located in some distant data center, one that itself is highly-available and routinely backed up.
There are multiple cloud backup services available such as Rackspace cloud backup, Mozzy, Carbonite, Storagecraft cloud backup, and many others. If you decide to use a cloud backup service, you should make sure that it offers the capabilities, datacenter infrastructure, and service agreement that is appropriate for your business.
Having your data backed up in the cloud has the additional benefit of making it avail be to you from anywhere you have an Internet connection for either recovery or sometimes to work remotely.
Cloud-Based File ServerWhich brings us to another option, that of using a cloud-based file server like Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud. Instead of taking a copy of your data and sending it to the cloud, a cloud file server can be configured so it appears as a folder on your computer. All of the data you store into this folder will be synched to the cloud for retrieval using another device. Depending on the service you use this will also act as a backup of your data.
Choose Wisely, but Do Something
Having a well-planned backup solution will minimize down time, prevent loss of profits and could prevent your business from going under. But as you can see, there are many backup alternatives and the best solution for you can depend on many factors. Here’s what we recommend:
First, having some form of backups is always preferable to having none at all. So, don’t let any confusion you may have stop you from backing up your data in some form or fashion.
Second, to find a solution that fits your needs perfectly, and to put a process in place to make sure you use that solution correctly, you might want to seek the advice of your IT provider.
Thank you for your time and we are hopeful you found this helpful. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin Tracey • ADNET Technologies
Dave Calibey • BigThunk Internet Marketing
Tony Leesha • Computer Repair and Upgrading