Whether it’s employee communication or confidential client information, data is your organization’s most valuable asset. It’s no wonder data loss is on the tip of every executive’s tongue these days.
Any potential loss or corruption of your data stores can have far-reaching consequences. On a small scale, daily operations will need to be put on hold. More dramatically, data loss can cause an organization to shut down permanently.
The risk of data loss is also more significant now than ever before. As the business landscape becomes more digitized, hackers and malicious programs are increasingly prevalent. In 2019, ransomware attacks caused over 200,000 businesses to lose access to their files. As these attacks continue to increase, the likelihood that your business will be targeted is higher than ever; it’s no longer an if but a when.
Thankfully, data backup and replication allow lost data to be fully restored, saving your business from the potentially irreparable consequences of things like malware, hardware failure, and simple human error. Thus, these practices must become every organization’s top priority.
While these terms are often used interchangeably, data backup and replication are not the same things. Data backup involves storing copies of data offsite, while replication involves copying data and storing it internally. Doing both allows you to replace any data that becomes lost or corrupted at the primary location. This means that you’ll have backup copies no matter what kind of data loss you experience.
Backing up and replicating your data are the two best ways to recover from a data disaster. There are also other advantages, like relieving the strain on your primary server and improving server performance. Backups also provide better security options. By backing up important or confidential data, such as passwords, you can respond more quickly to a security breach and contain the situation.
Before diving into backup and replication solution types, we recommend keeping the following factors in mind:
There are several kinds of technologies and techniques, each with unique advantages. With so much variety, you’re guaranteed to find a strategy that fits your organization perfectly.
Flash drives, CDs, or external hard drives are excellent storage systems that physically store and protect your data. By saving copies of your data onto an external device, you can protect it without the need to maintain a network. This method is highly secure, especially if you keep the device in a safe location. They are also the most intuitive to use and relatively cost-effective.
Unfortunately, external storage devices have long RPOs and RTOs, as you’ll need to update them manually. It’s also tedious retrieving the external drive, and you’ll be limited by the amount of data the device can store. Still, external storage is by far the simplest data security solution.
Certain software programs handle the backup process automatically. These programs are highly customizable, meaning you can adjust the RPO and other aspects to your liking. RTO is also shorter compared to external storage, letting you get back to business sooner. They are more cost effective in the long run than external hardware, especially if you have a lot of data to backup.
While they are the most flexible solution, they are also the most complex. Some programs will work with pre-existing software, but others require you to put in extra time and resources to make them work. This means configuring your device’s operating system before installation. If you aren’t very tech-savvy, we recommend seeking help before installing.
Many information technology vendors will offer Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS), a type of cloud storage service. These BaaS solutions allow you to store your data on the vendors’ public or private cloud infrastructure. Cloud storage has several advantages like unlimited storage and safe, remote data storage locations. These services are also more straightforward than software solutions, and some even provide an agent to handle your data backups for you.
While cloud storage is undoubtedly robust, it does have some caveats. The cost of BaaS solutions can be steep, and you’ll need to pay fees as long as you use the service. Also, if the service you choose uses a public cloud, you will need to comply with any relevant safety regulations and standards. If your data is especially sensitive, it might be best to avoid cloud storage and third parties altogether.
Considering the current state of cyber threats, not having a way to restore your valuable data is far too risky. Thus, all organizations should have a solid data backup and replication strategy.
Need help deciding which solution is best for you? Our IT Projects experts can evaluate your organization’s needs and outline the best fit.
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