By Damien Garvey, Technical Account Manager at Backup-Technology
March 04, 2013

Backup-Technology Online Data Backup Expert Tips: What Price Do You Place On Your Data?

The speed of change within industries is rapidly increasing and therefore the importance of being able to recover your data in the event of a disaster or human error is becoming increasingly more important. Not being able to recover deleted or corrupted data could lead to financial losses and have a damaging impact on a company’s reputation.

The data backup market is now as competitive as it ever has been with a host of providers all offering different solutions from those based on tape to cloud backup. As competition increases, the costs of services on offer are been reduced to try and gain providers a foothold in the market. However, it is still very important for companies to conduct appropriate research into what solutions are being offered as the price will still reflect the quality of the solution in comparison to others. Those who are looking to backup data in excess of 200GB will more than likely encounter significant problems if they opted for the cheapest solutions, potentially putting their data at additional risk if the provider’s security is not up to scratch.

There are many reasons why some cloud backup providers can offer a seemingly cheap solution. The most notable reason is the quality of the software being offered to run the backups. In some cases home friendly backup software is dressed up and advertised as a business solution. One of the major flaws of such software is the ability to cope with large data growth; consumers don’t tend to have terabytes of data and furthermore a business is likely to experience much higher increases in data over smaller periods of time.

Another very notable difference is the quality of the backend on which your data is being kept on. With cheap solutions corners are cut; the data storage hardware being the main one. Keeping data on cheap hardware with no replication to other hardware-independent systems at other geographically located data centres can be a risky scenario. A company won’t be able to run backups or even restore data if the solitary system is down.

Further, if a replication system isn’t in place what happens if the provider suffers from a complete hardware failure, something understandably more likely to occur when using cheap hardware, especially if old and unsupported. This might result in partial or even total data loss. The importance of having a replication system is overlooked on a regular basis as some customers make assumptions on the reliability of the cloud platform they are paying for. Some providers also make assumptions that even if they lose a customer’s backup, they can simply run another backup to populate the data again. However, this view is extremely flawed as many companies rely on the ability to recover deleted data from several months ago and the loss of such data for some can result in serious financial repercussions and even fines.

An additional factor to be considered is how experienced the supplier is with the software they use. Is it the only software that they offer or is it one of many? There is nothing else more important than knowledge and experience gained using a product over time. This increases the likelihood that backups will be configured appropriately to meet your needs with the appropriate retention rules.

There are some solutions on offer where you are given the software and are left to your own devices. Without the correct training this can understandably result in backups being configured wrongly and most certainly result in data not being recoverable when needed. Then there are other providers who take a more hands on approach but do not necessarily have that much experience with the software. Again, this can lead to inappropriate configuration that puts data at a greater risk of being unrecoverable. If you can’t recover your data, that’s not a backup.

There are many providers who claim that they will be able to successfully backup your data, but don’t do anything to demonstrate it. The importance of having a robust and secure solution in place is becoming more important and will only become more important as we become more reliant on data.

If you are looking at a backup solution that you are sure will meet your needs, ask the provider plenty of questions regarding the solution: The experience they have using the software; how they protect the data from both loss and malicious access. Be sure that if you were to suffer from a disaster that they will be able to recover your data as quickly as possible.

If you currently have a solution in place, periodically test recovery of data to make sure that everything is working as you require.

The quality of backup solution in place should match how important that data is and the value it represents.

About the Author: Damien Garvey is a Technical Account Manager at Backup-Technology, an Asigra powered cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions provider.


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