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Back up, back up now!

clound-back

In case you missed it, the 31st of March was "World Backup" day and it sparked exciting debate across businesses on how best to secure their data. Businesses lose huge amounts of data every day, mainly because 'backing up' keeps getting pushed down the to-do list. Our advice? Flip that to-do list upside down and get your backups nailed.

But how? What's the easiest, most effective way for your business to backup?

There's more choice than ever under a few names, commonly Cloud Sync, Cloud Backup or Cloud Storage. They're similar enough to be confusing and meaningless enough to be anything. Here's what they mean: 

Cloud Sync 

Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, etc are services that sync up with a single folder on your computer. They mirror it. When a file changes in one, the sync service rushes to change it on your computer too, so they are always the same. Cloud Sync services are hugely flexible for remote employees, or even those squeezing in a few quick tasks while riding the train to work. They're ridiculously easy to use, require no training, and the free tiers are enough for most individuals.

This all sounds amazing, right? Except...when things go wrong, they go wrong big time. Accidentally deleting a file means it disappears from the Cloud Sync drive - almost immediately. Overwriting a file does the same thing, and if an employee makes edits to the wrong file, then those edits are there to stay. If disaster strikes and your local copy becomes corrupted (or ransomed), well you guessed it, the corruption is uploaded too. While some Cloud Sync services now offer a 30 day backup option, you may not notice the file was missing within this time.

Cloud Sync services are fantastic for productivity and accessing files on the go, but alone, they simply can't be relied on as your backup tech. There are some great cloud-to-cloud backup services that can backup your Cloud Sync, which we highly recommend.

Cloud Storage

Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, etc are massive buildings full of storage drives that work just like your local hard drive, except you access them securely via the internet. In fact, when you use a cloud sync app like Dropbox, they're actually sending your data to one of these locations. While the sync services have a constant back and forth connection between the storage center and your folder, and as explained above aren't good for backup, you have another option. You can access cloud storage on a per/GB basis yourself and upload your entire backup as desired. It won't update with changes on your local network, but it will be safe from disaster. When you need to retrieve a file, you simply login and download it.

Your backed up data is secure, protected against disaster, and always available to you. However, because it relies on you/your employee to handle the backup plan and manually take care of the uploads, this is a high-risk solution. Unless your employee is scouring your network each day/week/month for changes to files and uploading them with fervent dedication, chances are this plan won't work. We recommend an automated or outsourced solution so you can get on with business AND be protected.

This all sounds amazing, right? Except...when things go wrong, they go wrong big time. Accidentally deleting a file means it disappears from the Cloud Sync drive - almost immediately. Overwriting a file does the same thing, and if an employee makes edits to the wrong file, then those edits are there to stay. If disaster strikes and your local copy becomes corrupted (or ransomed), well you guessed it, the corruption is uploaded too. While some Cloud Sync services now offer a 30 day backup option, you may not notice the file was missing within this time.

Cloud Sync services are fantastic for productivity and accessing files on the go, but alone, they simply can't be relied on as your backup tech. There are some great cloud-to-cloud backup services that can backup your Cloud Sync, which we highly recommend.

Cloud Backup 

Carbonite, Backblaze backup, iDrive and Crashplan may not be names you've heard before, but they work in the background to scan for changes to files on your computer or network and make sure everything required is backed up.

There are also a number of great Cloud-to-Cloud backup services emerging. If you're already synching your data to the Cloud, you can get it backed up directly from there, rather than running backup software on your computers

In both scenarios, You can roll back individual files or whole drives, and even select from earlier backups, not just one. Like sync services, they use cloud storage centers with extra-high security and redundancy so that your data is always there when you need it. Even better, neither you nor your employees need to worry about when it was last done.

Your backed up data is secure, protected against disaster, and always available to you. However, because it relies on you/your employee to handle the backup plan and manually take care of the uploads, this is a high-risk solution. Unless your employee is scouring your network each day/week/month for changes to files and uploading them with fervent dedication, chances are this plan won't work. We recommend an automated or outsourced solution so you can get on with business AND be protected.

This all sounds amazing, right? Except...when things go wrong, they go wrong big time. Accidentally deleting a file means it disappears from the Cloud Sync drive - almost immediately. Overwriting a file does the same thing, and if an employee makes edits to the wrong file, then those edits are there to stay. If disaster strikes and your local copy becomes corrupted (or ransomed), well you guessed it, the corruption is uploaded too. While some Cloud Sync services now offer a 30 day backup option, you may not notice the file was missing within this time.

Cloud Sync services are fantastic for productivity and accessing files on the go, but alone, they simply can't be relied on as your backup tech. There are some great cloud-to-cloud backup services that can backup your Cloud Sync, which we highly recommend.

The One You Need

Let's take a moment to talk planning. We recommend starting with the 3-2-1 strategy. This means having 3 copies in total. One of them locally such as on your computer, one in a Cloud Sync such as OneDrive, SharePoint, Dropbox or Google Drive and then another offsite using Cloud Sync or Cloud Backup. Using this strategy keeps your business operating when data disasters occur and is an investment in your uptime.

We can help get you set up with the 3-2-1 method, including selecting the best cloud service for your needs. If you're an organisation using (or considering using) Office 365 and looking for a more scalable, cost-effective solution that gives the utmost peace of mind, ask about our Cloud-to-Cloud backup service.

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