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Having a solid backup solution for a business is a necessity for data integrity and quite possibility the future of your job security. There may very well be hundreds of backup scenarios that could be utilized. The right solution depends on the size of the organization, the amount of users and the amount of data that needs to be backed up. If you have a small business with only a few Gigabytes to back up then an online backup solution may be right for you. On the other hand, if you were responsible for hundreds of users and Terabytes of data then you would be looking for a more localized backup solution, which may include Network Attached Storaged (NAS), and/or a tape drive backup solution or external hard disks.
There are some different styles of a backup solution that should be implemented in any given organization. First, you should have an exact image or clone of all servers and workstations at your disposal for immediate recovery purposes. A full backup of all data should also be performed at intervals that meet the needs of the data that is being backed up. Then an incremental backup solution should be used to insure that all changed data is safely backed up and ready for restoration if the need arises. The need will arise to restore data.
Data loss is hard to avoid. Whether as the result of hard drive crash, theft, accidental deletion, virus, or natural disaster, it happens to the best of businesses. According to the National Archives & Records Administration in Washington, 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately. Data loss doesn’t need to be catastrophic as long as the business has a solid backup plan. What is your backup plan?
Too many things could happen with data to encompass the need for immediate restoration. From little things like a user, accidentally deleting a small file to the need to restore the entire network because of a natural disaster of some sort data is destroyed. Either way you need to be prepared to restore the Gigabytes or Terabytes of data. The majority of the time, a loose nut on the keyboard is usually the culprit for accidentally or purposely destroying data. It doesn’t matter because it still needs to be restored.
The tricky part is deciding which backup scenario that is right for your organization. One way or another, data needs to be stored in an offsite location. Whether that location is an online backup solution or an offsite tape storage facility, the location should be carefully considered while choosing your backup scenario. The caveat to having the data offsite is that sometimes you need to access the data immediately. For that purpose, the need arises for data backup redundancy. Probably the best way to achieve a redundant backup scenario is to back everything up to some form of NAS and then transfer the data from the network attached storage to either an online backup solution or a hardware tape backup solution. With that scenario, the data is always available on the NAS and safe and secure online or on tape. The solution depends on the size and structure of your particular data center.