One of the most vital factors of an operational and effective business plan is to have a reliable data backup solution, particularly in the case where customer and operational data is the backbone of the business. Dependable backup solutions will guarantee business continuity and give you peace of mind. Through this article, we’ll discuss some of the budget-friendly, yet effective methods of having a dependable backup solution for one’s business.
If you’re looking for a simple solution to back up files for your small business, USB devices will be your safest bet. USB sticks and external USB hard drives are perfect for taking backups on individual computers. While these electronic devices are small in size and easy on the pocket, they offer excellent data protection with quality performance. You can choose between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0; however the latter offers a better transfer rate. At just around $800, you can get your hands on one of the most powerful USB sticks available. The Kingston Data Traveler Hyper X Predator 1TB is a storage solution that you can always count on. As powerful as it sounds, this robust USB device offers a monstrous capacity and can support Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Vista and Mac. For other affordable USB devices, keep a lookout for reputable brands like SanDisk, Verbatim, Corsair and Lexar.
USB hard drives offer great value for money. Portable hard drives often have a built-in USB port and come with their own backup and recovery software for Windows and MAC. Some of these hard drives come with automatic backup functionality, encryption for added security as well as a cloud backup option. External drive enclosures tend to be ideal when you’re looking for a low-maintenance solution for data backups. Some of these hard drives have the ability to copy one drive to another and can double the storage capacity.
Network attached storage or NAS is used to keep a secure backup of files in a personal cloud. Different online backup providers offer a boost in security and enable you to sync business files between the NAS and your cloud storage providers like Google Drive and Dropbox. This helps in maintaining reliable and consistent updates across different platforms. Scheduling incremental backups to a network-attached server (NAS) is the perfect solution for heavy duty-backups. It is a fairly simple process and comes with its own software. It’s effective for PC backups, torrenting files to a central server and also gives you the ability to stream media across network. Netgear, QNAP and Synology provide countless apps for NAS backups. Google cloud storage, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Glacier work flawlessly with different NAS providers making it simple for businesses to safely back up their data locally and online.
Keep a lookout for budget-friendly NAS storage backups like Dropbox, IDrive, Elephant Drive, Crash Plan and CloudBerry Lab.
Cloud storage is amongst the best investments that a business will ever make. You never know when there will be a disaster or when your devices will get misplaced. Cloud or online data backups will provide access to all your important files on the go. Most cloud backup solutions offer an automated process of backing up your data and provide you reliable disaster recovery solutions. What’s even better is that the cloud serves as the ideal sharing tool, enabling you to send larger files like important documents and multimedia files that would be otherwise difficult to do so via e-mail. Google Drive and Dropbox are amongst the most popular cloud backup solutions that offer ease of use and a quick automated process. Both offer a decent capacity for free, however, you should pay and buy an upgrade for a boost in capacity. Google Drive offers integration with Google+, Gmail, Google Docs and more services making it a convenient solution for many businesses. When backing up files on the cloud, it is important that your systems are well protected so that nobody can use your passwords to access your data.
Testing your backup
Too many businesses make the mistake of investing a lot of time and money in backing up their data, only to find that the backups don’t work and cannot provide any restoration when required. That is why it is essential that you test your backups to ensure that your backup solutions are actually keeping your data secure. Testing your backup will also make restoration and recovery from a data loss both easy and quick in the future.
Test your backups as frequently as you can
Many large business organizations test their disaster recovery plan just once a year. For smaller businesses, however, testing backups frequently is important. Always test your backups when there are critical hardware or software changes to the backup system. You should also run a test after upgrading the firmware in the backup system to ensure that it is working smoothly with the rest of the system. Make use of common real-life data loss scenarios to simulate how your backups will work in the event of a crisis.
When testing your backups, don’t settle for the restoration of a couple of files. You need to make sure that all features and directory trees are also being backed up effectively. In the event of a restore, consider restoration of complete folders including their subfolder and other critical applications.
Tips for flawless backup solutions
- Always check the compatibility of the backup solutions with your systems.
- Conduct data assessments so that you are aware of your high-value data assets.
- Moving files to an external hard drive or NAS does not imply that you have a reliable backup. Keep an external hard drive to back up the primary NAS.
- Always have a written disaster recovery plan.
- When testing backups, remember that frequency of backups does not correspond to security of data. The quality of testing is what actually matters.
- Ensure that the business’s sensitive data is always encrypted.