Computer Backup Solutions – All Systems Go?
The subject of computer and server backup solutions has always been a topic of importance when it comes to preserving the data on your computer. These days there are more options available to you in this arena, which can be both a help and a hindrance. On one hand, having more options is helpful because better solutions have been brought to the marketplace from which you can now choose to fit your needs. A hindrance exists in that the multitude of choices might scare off users and cause them to avoid the issue altogether, which can have a disastrous ending. It does not have to be complicated nor time consuming, so there is no good reason not to tackle backing up your computers and servers.
What is Backup for?
It is having a copy of your data off-site. Out of your office or your home. Not sitting on someone’s desk or in the back office. If something were to happen in your office or your home such as:
- Malware such as crypto locker which encrypts all your files.
If you did not do a backup, then your copy would be lost along with the servers and desktop computers.
What is DR?
So a DR stands for Disaster Recover. You have your data offsite which is a Backup and if you are using the correct Backup and DR software you would be able to recover from the disaster pretty quickly. A key point for you to remember is how long can your business, NFP, Education or Government body survive without carrying on your activity. In a business and NFP, how long can you continue without collecting or paying any money to vendors/customers, staff and suppliers?
We all know that backing up can preserve the information that is stored on your computer, but how far do you take your backup philosophy? It depends on what you can ‘afford’ to lose. To one organisation, just backing up periodically will suffice. The thought here is that if you lose your data, you can restore it apart from your operating system, and the time that this takes is not a critical consideration. Many home users fall into this category. It makes sense as long as you are not dependent upon your computer/server for time-sensitive applications and tasks and/or for accessing and retrieving data relative to finances, etc. To another user this philosophy is not enough. Those who depend on their data and computer for more than just casual personal computing understand that if a hard drive fails, their business is down until they can get it back up and running again. Home users who store irreplaceable photographs and home video on their computers will also fall into this category. A more comprehensive backup plan is recommended to help recover from disasters in a timely fashion.
Computer Backup Solutions Options
There are several ways to tackle backups of your important data: Built-in operating system options. Microsoft Windows operating systems provide built-in backup capabilities that allows you to backup your documents or files onto external media. Beginning with Windows XP and its Automated System Recovery feature, each successive Microsoft desktop operating system includes the capability to help recover your entire hard drive if necessary. These backup solutions are reliable and provide a built-in way for you to backup your data without having to buy an additional program to do so. Manual copying onto external devices. You can always resort to the old stand-by method of backing up by manually copying your data onto an external hard drive, USB memory stick or other external device such as a recordable CD, DVD or even a floppy drive if you have one. This is cumbersome, but if you do not have a lot of files, it may be an acceptable solution for you. The pitfalls with this method are that if you have multiple files, you have to make sure you get all of them, and you may need numerous target media to save all of your files to. Online options for backing up over the Internet. The newest option in computer data backup solutions is provided by online companies that enable backup and restoration of your documents and files over an encrypted high-speed Internet connection to any PC/Server. A small background application backs up and transfers your files to a hosted storage area in a remote datacentre when your computer is idle; however, this is not a comprehensive disaster recovery solution for your entire hard drive or storage system. This solution works best when targeted at protecting individual files and documents on a PC or a Mac, and is generally a subscription-based service for which you pay a monthly fee for use.
Making an image of your hard drive
This is a more comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution generally performed by technically savvy IT service companies or IT departments in larger organisations. This option includes using 3rd party programs to make an image of your entire hard drive, which can then be “re-imaged” in case of catastrophic failure to a new hard drive, providing a hard drive disaster recovery plan. Using this solution, within a short period of time, you can be back up and running with all of your documents, settings, programs and Everything intact, as if the disaster never occurred.
The above is the only solution for business and other organisations. There is no other option today as you want to know that:
- Your backups are happening.
- Your backups are happening on schedule.
- You are moving a copy offsite. Cloud is best.
- You can recover from a Disaster successfully. You should do a test every now then.
Most organisations either do the above themselves or use a 3rd party company such as Go Systems who have the technology to provide them with this service. Tapes are no longer a great way to do backups for most organisations. Your business depends upon your computers and servers and the applications and data that are produced. You must have a more comprehensive solution. Your goal in business is to eliminate as many risks as possible and backup and disaster recovery are a very big risk.