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By Ben Puzzuoli, Technical Sales Director at KineticD
May 31, 2013

KineticD Online Data Backup Expert Tips: Optimizing Cloud Backup Through Data Classification

With more and more business activities that were once left up to the individual to perform by hand now far more easily accomplished with computers, there is no denying the fact that the inner workings of businesses worldwide have now become much more convenient and efficient.  And, due to this newfound ease with which many of a business’s day-to-day operations can be carried out, organizations across the globe are increasingly relying on digital technology to store and manage more and more of their crucial files.  Indeed, from employee salary information to sales records, many elements of the business world have now become highly digitized, allowing organizations of all sizes to operate with a level of speed and efficiency never before possible.

However, businesses must keep in mind that along with all of the convenience ushered in by the digital revolution, reliance on computers also brings about the need for organizations to take on the responsibility of protecting their data from hardware failure, computer viruses, natural disasters and the many other elements that can potentially pose a threat to their digital devices, and thus the important data that is stored within them.  Alas, if data is not fastidiously backed up and protected, years of hard work can unfortunately vanish within a moment’s notice, leaving companies sometimes completely unable to stay in business at all.  Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that businesses take advantage of cloud backup to preserve their data, and hence the future of their organizations as well.

Beyond online data backup’s most fundamental advantage of providing a safe, off-site location in which to store a duplicate set of backup data, the remote accessibility brought about by cloud backup is another key benefit that is of crucial importance to businesses.  After all, if the structure in which your company is housed suffers the ill effects of a flood, earthquake or fire, you could easily not be able to access your data for some time, even if your computer systems manage to remain more or less intact after the incident.  With cloud backup however, data can be accessed and restored right away from any location that has access to the Internet, which can often be an important advantage to say the least.  In fact, remote data accessibility regularly ends up being a make-or-break factor when it comes to surviving a data loss disaster, with the speed and efficiency with which a business can restore their important files often determining whether or not that business will be able to resume functioning at all in the first place.

However, while restoring files from the cloud after a data loss incident is a relatively easy process, businesses must remember that it is by no means an instantaneous one, with the sizes of files and bandwidth limitations, among other factors, dictating the amount of time that it takes for data sets to be restored.  Therefore, in order to optimize the speed with which companies can expect to be fully functioning again after suffering massive data loss, all of their files must be sorted as to which ones are the most crucial to the functioning of their organization.  By taking the time to classify their information in this way, businesses can effectively create a data disaster preparedness road map, allowing them to easily restore their most important files first and thus have their systems up and running in the shortest amount of time possible in the aftermath of a data loss incident.

Key to being able to classify data is to understand how this information is being used in the first place.  While some files might be accessed almost every day, others might be more archival in nature.  Overall, the thorough and accurate classification and prioritizing of data is unfortunately not necessarily an easy task, with hours of tedious work often being required by the administrator in charge of this information, especially if the right tools are not used for the job.  Luckily, there are a number of software tools that can help you evaluate the comparative importance of the various files contained within in a given data set, which makes the process much more automatic in nature.  But in the end, the need for human analysis to classify data always exists, as no computer program can fully assess which information is the most crucial for a given organization’s individualized needs.

There are a number of different factors that can be used to classify the relative importance of digital information.  Just to name just a few, files can be sorted by which users access the files the most, the metadata that is stored within them, or simply by the type of document that they are.  Deciding which classification technique to use will depend, of course, on which one suits the nature of the organization in question.  And, one must also bear in mind that more than one type of classification parameter should be used in order to ensure that the most thorough analysis of relative data priority is taking place, with exhaustively executed data classification systems usually utilizing multi-tiered systems in which files are prioritized across quite a number of different parameters.

With our increasing reliance of digital information, the ability for a company to continue operating after a catastrophic data loss incident is not only contingent upon them having their data securely backed up, but also upon them being able to prioritize the relative importance of their different files through thorough data classification.  Of course, having been in the online data backup industry for over a decade now, we here at KineticD are proud to have assisted quite a number of businesses in quickly recovering after many different types of data loss incidences.  And, besides the fact that we always make it our top priority to provide the most state of the art cloud services around, we also base these successes on the fact that we are willing to work individually with our clients to develop the most comprehensive data loss preparedness system possible to fit their needs.  To find out more about why KineticD is being called “a whole other category of backup”, please visit our website today!

About the author: Ben Puzzuoli is Technical Sales Director at KineticD, a Toronto based online data backup service provider.

 

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