There are a few options available to users who want to backup data, and each of them come with their own set of pros and cons. We offer a cloud-based data backup and recovery service, so it might be said we are a bit biased, but even that has a few drawbacks to it. Everything does. There simply isn’t a perfect solution, there are only reliable solutions to choose from depending upon your specific needs. This post will hopefully help you navigate the world of data backup and recovery to help you find exactly what works best for you.
Cloud-based data backup and recovery solutions are Internet-reliant options for backing up data at an off-site location, where the data is kept on servers, and is accessible 24-7, 365.
The biggest advantage is with cloud-based options, you don’t have to buy brand new hardware when you fill up your space, you simply buy a little more space, which is much more affordable for small businesses than investing in new hardware.
Another advantage is the fact daily backups can be turned into an automated process you rarely have to worry about. Your data gets backed up to the cloud on its own, and it’s backed up to an off-site server, which could be hundreds, or thousands, of miles away. There is no, “Bill forgot to do the backup last night,” or, “Bill lost the flash drive before getting to the backup location.” It just gets done.
Finally, good data centers are continually upgrading security measures to stay one step ahead of the hackers who might be trying to access your data, which is something that doesn’t usually get done as frequently as it should with locally managed backup solutions.
The one glaring disadvantage to cloud-based data backup and recovery solutions is the fact that it relies exclusively on an Internet connection to both make the backups and to access them. This could be a problem if a natural disaster strikes and leaves your business without internet for whatever reason. But lets face it, if the situation is so bad you either don’t have electricity, or your internet service is down for an extended period of time, how much work are you actually going to be able to do anyway?
Another disadvantage is one we also consider to be an advantage, and that is you have no control over the security measures being used at the data center. If you are one of those people who have to be in control of everything, then it might not be the best solution for you. In a cloud situation you can ask what is being done to protect the data, and you can find that information out, but getting an entire data center to change their security protocols to match yours is a tough sell at best. The good news is with good data centers this shouldn’t be an issue, because they are already using the latest and greatest tools available to protect your data.
One option for backing up data is to back it up to a locally-kept hard drive that might be housed in a second computer, server, or a device built specifically for backup purposes. These drives are available in various sizes, and the more space you require, the more expensive they are, but the good news is the per gigabyte price for these drives seems to get a little lower with each passing year. The drives are made up of a magnetic disk and a host of moving parts that make it spin and also write the data on them.
Your data is your data, and you don’t have to rely on anyone else to protect it or manage it. It’s all on your shoulders, and you can do things your way. Your data is always right there where you can see it too. It’s not shipped off to who knows where, to be stored on servers with other peoples’ data.
One big disadvantage is if you fill up the hard drive, you have to buy a brand new, bigger one to replace it, and that is just another expense you have to incur that could be avoided with other methods, such as cloud storage.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is the likelihood of these drives failing. Remember all those moving parts we mentioned above? Well guess what? They break, and the all do it eventually. So this is anything but a permanent one-time purchase and your done solution.
These drives are also susceptible to being corrupted, which could destroy the files stored on it. Ideally, your backup should even have a backup, and doing that with internal hard drives can get expensive. It also takes expert-level knowledge to set up correctly.
Remember the good ‘ol days when you could backup nearly all of a hard drive’s data onto one CD-R or DVD-R? Ah, the memories. When the capability to do that became a thing of the past, the flash drive was introduced. This technology made saving moderate amounts of data a little more convenient. There are quite a few options today for storing data on a removable device that can be transported easily from place to place.
There are many backup options that fit into this category: External Hard Drives, Solid State Storage (Such as: flash drives/thumb drives, memory sticks, SD cards). Floppy disks and tape drives used to also fit into this category before being retired from use. (You have moved on from those, right?)
The biggest advantage is the point we made at the end of the introduction to this section; removable storage devices are compact, convenient, and above all, portable. It’s easy to move data from one location to another. They also don’t take up much room if you are going to attempt to store data for a long period of time. Another advantage for solid state media is they are typically reasonably tough, and can take a little bit of a beating before being damaged to the point it can no longer be used,,,, but it can, and does, happen.
That convenient portability also makes these devices susceptible to being lost, damaged, or stolen. The worst feeling in the world is needing to access vital data and not being able to find the device it’s stored on. Also, like internal hard drives, these devices are prone to being corrupted by viruses, malware, or other bad news entities.
Which option is best for your needs is highly dependent on what your needs are, however, as technology continues to move forward, remote storage, or in the cloud, is increasingly becoming the most sensible option. We’re no longer anchored to a box by the desk in our offices, we’re all on the go, and often need to access our data from elsewhere.
Using a cloud-storage option, opens your data up to being accessible on multiple devices, from just about any location, so its flexibility is unparalleled in the market right now. There are plenty of options out there for personal use clouds, small business clouds, and even clouds that can manage the data of a huge corporation. It’s becoming the standard.
So while you could use a removable device like a flash drive to carry around your data, and potentially be successful, and happy, doing so, the likelihood of that being the best long-term solution for you is probably slim.
We won’t say cloud storage is the solution to protect you in your current situation, but we will go as far as saying there are cloud options designed to fit your needs. You just have to find them.
What are you using today to backup your data?
How safe is it?
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