While preventive measures will reduce the chance of this happening, two ways of protecting data against potential loss is to create on-site (local) and/or off-site (remote) backups.
An important concept to understand while determining your backup needs is the 3-2-1 rule. This rule is a strong general practice to follow, and will help you in protecting your organization from data-loss. Here is the breakdown of the rule:
3 – Have three copies of any important data (Original location and two backups)
2 – Use two different types of media
1 – One copy should be off site
By following the 3-2-1 rule you can provide your organization with several methods to backup and restore your data. While this method may seem like overkill, the ability to restore your data from several locations can be crucial in times of need.
A simple example of an on-site backup would be copying your files from your PC or server to an external drive. This backup is a snapshot of the files you copied, which becomes less useful as time passes. External drives have become drastically cheaper in the last few years and through careful shopping a 1 terabyte (TB), or 1,000 gigabytes (GB) drive can be purchased in the $100-$150 range.
Onsite backups can also be achieved by having one centralized shared location for all data to be stored. Through the configuration of shared folder locations, data will be centralized for easier storage, backups, and management. Another benefit of having a shared centralized data source is providing a single location to backup, both onsite and offsite.
Another form of on-site backups are tape backups. Although a reliable choice for backups, most modern solutions stray away from this older backup media. The time and effort that is required to maintain and keep basic functions operational, combined with the generally higher cost of the backup has caused other backup solutions to rise to prominence, such as cloud based backups.
Depending on your organization’s needs, there are several cloud backup solutions available. Two options that we recommend are Carbonite and JungleDisk. Carbonite is geared towards home and home office users. Carbonite is best suited when data is not centralized and several individual PCs need to be backed up. Carbonite has an annual fee ranging from $59/year to $149/year. This includes unlimited backup space, with each plan having more options than the last. JungleDisk has several tiered options, ranging from Personal to Workgroup and Server Editions. JungleDisk’s pricing ranges from $2-$5 a month, with additional monthly charges based on total storage used. These charges are extremely low, averaging around $0.15 per GB/month. JungleDisk is a powerful option when backing up data that is in one centralized location.
No single backup solution is without some drawbacks. A combination of backup solutions allows you to utilize the benefits of each type of backup, using one pro to cover a con:
The local and remote backup solutions detailed here are only a small sampling of choices when it comes to backups. Backups are not trivial, and backup solutions are different for every business and individual.There is no better time than now to review your current backup solution, a critical piece to your disaster recovery plan.