WHAT BACKUP SOLUTION IS THE BEST FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
Businesses are generating more data than ever before. This is only natural as things go increasingly digital across the board. With this explosion in data, however, comes a price. One of the most important and yet overlooked aspects of running a small business is having a proper system in place for the backup of your data.
You might have data already on your computers, but it's essential that this data be backed up to an external source. If you don't, you could be losing gigabytes of essential data that can never be recovered. Especially with all of the data breaches we've seen as of late, the time has never been better for companies to invest in good, secure data storage.
In this post, we're going to take a look at how data storage works. In the process, we intend to show you which of the backup solutions is the best choice for your small business.
To cloud or not to cloud...
You're going to get a variety of suggestions when you look technology for backing up your data. Your colleagues might insist on flash drives, some might swear by an external hard drive, and some might even claim that there's no option other than the cloud. We're going to look at what is actually the case in the data storage and managed services world.
To figure all of this out, you first have to answer two questions. Do you want your data in two places? Do you want to be able to access your data from anywhere?
You definitely want to be able to save your data in two places, which is possible with an external hard drive. The logic behind this is simple: If you have your data in only one place, it's likely that you're going to lose the data.
This doesn't mean that external drives are always the way to go. These drives fail as well, and if they're used incorrectly, this can lead to data loss on the drive and possibly also the computer where the data originated.
Cloud storage works a little differently. There's no physical storage of any of the data on your computer, but instead the data is saved on a variety of computers that allow you to synchronize this data across platforms. For instance, with cloud storage you can save data to the cloud from your desktop, access and edit from your laptop, then read from your mobile device.
Cloud services for backup.
There are a number of services that are built entirely around backing up data for exclusive use on one platform. So this means that all of the data on your computer will be backed up, and you can then access this data from your computer at any time. This, in effect, is like the cloud equivalent of an external hard drive. The limitation here is that you can't access this data anywhere but your original device.
If being able to access your data anywhere is more your fancy, then you'd go for synchronization services. The two most well-known of these services are Google Drive and Dropbox. What these services do is allow you to save your data to their cloud services to be accessed from virtually anywhere.
The only downside to this is that you won't be backing up your entire hard drive like you would with some of the other applications for backing up. Instead, you'll select a certain number of files and folders and then back them up individually. There are storage limits to these applications, but these can be bypassed with a paid account. That's right. These are totally free up to a certain amount.
Cloud storage wasn't trusted for a time, as people weren't comfortable with their data being stored in some random place around the world. However, cloud storage has only gotten more reliable over the years, and it remains a great choice for those who are looking to secure their data.
My internet is down.
The bane of synchronization service's existence is internet failing for whatever reason. This could be from a power outage, a dispute with your internet service provider, or even an unreliable way of accessing the internet. Whatever the cause, the result remains the same: you can't back up your data.
For times like these, you'll be forced to go old school and use flash drives, external hard drives, and SD card technology to get the job done. It's not ideal, but as long as your device has power and you have those storage devices, you can back up your data.
The reality, though, is that you're not technically backing up your data in two spots when you go with a physical option. It seems like you are, but if a thief were to grab your computer and your flash drive, you're still out your data. If there's a fire or a tornado hits, that external device will be destroyed just the same as your computer.
This is where cloud storage really shines. Your data is technically saved on physical devices, but they're all spread around to the point where there's no real risk of your data being lost forever. The only thing you'd have to worry about is hackers getting access to your login and password. But even that is doubtful as encryption gets better and better.
While this list isn't exhaustive, it will definitely give you an idea as to what are the best options for your storage and backing up process. Using managed services in this way will allow you to bypass all of the hassle of storage on physical devices and start looking at cloud storage as a viable option.
Of course, there are pros and cons to each method of storage and there is no perfect option out there. The best way of dealing with this storage problem is to combine physical options with cloud ones. This way you'll be able to take advantage of the strengths of each and not have to worry about the weaknesses.