Disk Platter with Ones and Zeros

Data Backup

This statement, though hopefully obvious, must be said because we are always running into environments were a backup does not exist, “Any backup is better than no backup at all”. So if you currently are not backing up your data then we implore and encourage you to start. Your first step can be as simple as a phone call to us so that we can guide you to a tailored solution that fits your needs and your budget. Data loss is totally preventable and no one ever needs to suffer it. 

The Challenge

For those of us with experience backing up data, at some point we’ve come face to face with Murphy’s law which states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. Issues such as the backup having data corruption or equipment failure can arise during the point of data restoration (retrieval). We quickly learn that relying on only one backup is unsound. Having learned this tough lesson, we begin to employ two or more devices into our backup procedure.

Multiple backups become a saving grace up to the point where disaster strikes. A building fire or theft can easily compromise our ability to recover data. It is now evident that maintaining backups in only one location is risky. Rotating backups off-site becomes part of the new procedure. Suddenly mother nature steps in with a flood or an earthquake which can affect an entire region. If the computer(s) along with the on-site and off-site backup exist within the affected region then you may be unable to recover data.

Fortunately cloud storage providers, who have data centers in different parts of the country for redundancy, exist and offer backup plans at affordable prices. However, because internet speeds dramatically affect cloud backup, it takes too long to perform a complete recovery. So what is the ideal backup strategy?

The Strategy

The ideal backup strategy consists of three parts so that we don’t place our eggs all in one basket. For the sake of rapid recovery, the first part is a local backup which is accomplished through software and some form of data storage. Software is used for automation and the ability to perform an incremental backup, which backs-up only the changes that occurred since the previous backup. Automation is extremely important because as humans, we are simply not consistent enough to ensure that the backup job gets accomplished (we can get busy, tired or forgetful). Since the data needs to get backed up to some sort of storage, this gets accomplished through either direct attached storage like an external hard drive or network access storage on the local area network.

The second part of the strategy is an off-site backup. The easiest way to accomplish this is by incorporating a scheduled rotation of a secondary storage device or storage media. Because of the fragility of conventional storage and media, extra care needs to be taken to ensure that damage does not occur during transport. A more sophisticated off-site backup can be accomplished via software over the internet through a secure VPN connection to a secondary storage device. However, performing a complete data recovery from an off-site backup will require transport of the storage device or media to the locality.

The last part of the strategy is to use a cloud backup service which has redundant data centers or where at least their data center is not located in the same area. Cloud backup is best used as the last resort when local and off-site backups have been compromised like in the case of a major disaster.

Although this three part backup strategy is ideal, not everyone can abide by it. In some cases a two part strategy is all that can be accomplished. Even if only one part of this strategy is used the fact still remains that “any backup is better than no backup at all”.

Software Solutions
Local Backup for Direct Attach Storage

Windows OS

macOS

Free

Commercial

Free

Commercial

Windows Backup
Windows 7-8.1 / Windows 10

Retrospect Solo

Time Machine

Retrospect Solo

Features

Features

Features

Features

Built into the OS
Very basic features
Not user friendly

Affordable
Easy to use interface
Versioning
Scheduling

 Built into the OS
Automatic Backup
Versioning
User Friendly

Affordable
Easy to use interface
Versioning
Scheduling

Local Area Network Backup

Windows OS

macOS

Retrospect Desktop for Windows

Retrospect Desktop for Mac

Features

Features

Backup 5 computers over the network
Windows/macOS/Linux Client Support
Scheduling and Versioning
Storage and Cloud Support

Backup 5 computers over the network
Windows/macOS/Linux Client Support
Scheduling and Versioning
Storage and Cloud Support

LAN Server Backup

Windows OS

macOS

Single Server

Multi-Server

Single Server

Multi-Server

Features

Features

Features

Features

Single Windows server
and 5 clients
Win/Mac/Linux Client Support
Scheduling and Versioning
Storage and Cloud Support

Unlimited Windows server
and clients
Win/Mac/Linux Client Support
Scheduling and Versioning
Storage and Cloud Support

Single Mac server and 20 clients
Win/Mac/Linux Client Support
Scheduling and Versioning
Storage and Cloud Support

Unlimited Mac servers
and clients
Win/Mac/Linux Client Support
Scheduling and Versioning
Storage and Cloud Support

Virtual Machine Server Backup

VMware & Microsoft Hyper-V

Features

Modern Management Console
Rapid Restore/Recovery
Local and Cloud Storage Support
Granular Application Protection
Runs on a local host or in the Cloud
Secure transfer of data

Cloud Backup

File Level Backup

Personal File Backup

Synology NAS Compatable

Features

Features

Unlimited backup
Low cost
Very easy to use
Backup by file type
Limited to one computer
Versioning limited to 30 days

When you work directly with us to setup your Backblaze account, their is no extra cost. This enables you and us to have a view on the backup and recovery process (not the data) so that when trouble arises we can be of greater support.

Set storage limit
Unlimited device backup
Inexpensive plans
Sync capabilities
File-sharing capabilities

The link below will allow you to create your own account where you can begin backing up multiple devices that cumulatively reach the storage limit of your plan.

Server Backup

Local & Cloud

Local & Cloud with Virtualization

Solarwinds Server Backup & Recovery

Datto Alto 3

Features

Features

No separate appliances
Use Direct Attached or NAS Storage
Pricing is simple and based on devices
Virtualization Support (VMware & Hyper-V)
Support for Exchange, MS-SQL & SharePoint
Incremental backup locally and to the cloud
Bare-Metal recovery
Multiplatform Support

Cost effective, yet fully featured
Single small device
Simple plug and play implementation
Web-based management for one or many devices
Recover granular data quickly
Supports protection of:
Windows, Linux, and Mac source machines
Datto Cloud virtualization to spin up lost servers