When it comes to backups, it’s certainly not a case of one size fits all
There are so many great options available, so how do you know which is best for you and your business?
Should you be using cloud or on-site storage, image or file-based backups?
Here’s my practical, simplified guide about what you need to consider and why.
First, let me explain two critical backup measurements – Restore Point – Restore Time.
Backup Restore Point
This is the last point you can successfully restore to and is determined by the backup frequency.
In the event of a failure or disaster, this is potentially the amount of data you could lose.
For Example, a backup taken nightly means you could potentially lose a full day’s data as this is the last point you can restore to in the event of a disaster.
Backup Restore Time
This is how long it takes to restore to the last restore point.
This is determined by many factors such as backup location, network speed, the technology and media being used, etc.
As an example, a Cloud-based full backup would take a considerable amount of time to restore over an internet connection.
Locally stored image backups can be restored much more quickly.
Your Backup Restore Goals
So what does this mean for you? Write down your restore point – 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week or more? Then, think about how long can you manage without your systems while the backup restore takes place – 1 hour, a morning, all day?
These objectives will be different from business to business. They may also differ between machines or sites.
Perhaps one computer runs a program that rarely changes, but is critical to your business. In this scenario, the restore point objective is long, but the restore time goal is short. You need to be up and running again quickly. A local nightly backup would suit these requirements. But – as the machine is critical to business – there’s another factor to take into consideration.
What if the failure was a local incident like fire or a flood. If the data storage is local, this could be damaged too. We recommend a multi-layered “Belt & Braces” approach. Local image-based backups can replicate the backup off-site. This is a secure cloud-hosted destination for disaster recovery, business continuity and complete peace of mind
What type of Backup should you be using?
We use a variety of tried and tested backup solutions. Ask if you’d like us to look at utilising technology you already have. We can discuss every type of backup from a full virtual Infrastructure to a few files on a laptop. We’ll help guide you to the best fit solution based on your requirements.
Image Based Backups
This kind of backup usually consists of a full system image. It’s sometimes referred to as a bare metal backup. The idea is that in the event of a failure, you could get a replacement machine out of the box and apply a bare metal backup image directly. You don’t have to install the operating system or programs.
File Based Backups
This is a traditional file by file backup that best suits file storage areas containing lots of documents.
This is also the best type of backup to use if you only want to backup a few folders that contain your most valuable data on your laptop. You are only backing up the data that you actually care about rather than a complete computer system. This type of backup will use less storage and so is ideal for cloud backup.
So much more to know about Backups!
You want one more ace up your sleeve? Consider an Image-Based Backup that provides bare metal recovery AND allows backups to be restored straight from the cloud. Sound expensive? There’s so much competition, you may be pleasantly surprised. You can get a lot of functionality for your budget.
Contact Cirrus IT Services (UK) Limited for help with your backups. We can offer free trials, so you’re confident from the outset that you have the right solution before you buy.