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Are Small Businesses Better Off Maintaining Their Own Backups?

There’s never a valid excuse for not backing up your business data. If your business creates any sort of data, you need to back it up because if it gets destroyed then you’re likely going to be in a very sticky situation. Companies spend thousands of unnecessary dollars in recovering lost data, not always successfully; a cost which could be lowered and better invested into a backup solution.

As such, the question isn’t if you should be backing up your small business data (because that’s an unquestionable yes), it’s how. You’re going to want something that suits the amount of data you’re creating while also being cost effective and secure.

There’s no one strategy that’s going to be best. Not all small businesses are the same and each will require a different solution to backing up their data. Every third-party solution will claim they’re the best for your businesses, but of course they will – it’s their aim to sell to you. It might actually be better to maintain your own backups.

Whether you want to maintain your own backups will entirely depend on how technically proficient you are. If you don’t have an IT professional on the team or possess the knowledge yourself, you may indeed want to get an external company in to help you. There’s no use just getting a solution set up and left at that; it needs to be maintained and monitored because a backup is useless if it isn’t actually backing up properly.

Many small businesses opt for network attached storage. This is a storage device that hooks directly into your network, capable of accepting different types of storage types and can offer redundancy through a RAID setup. You can even set it up so that your primary NAS will sync with an external copy. It’s always important to have an off-site copy of your data, just in case something like a natural disaster hits your office – it’ll wipe out your primary data and the backup.

Using a private cloud is another option that will keep your data in your hands. Using the Transporter, a network appliance that connects to a drive and syncs the contents, will create a private cloud for the network and ensure that everyone can keep their backups in sync while also maintaining the security that a private cloud offers.

You might also consider using offline media, like external hard drives or tapes. Often considered to be obsolete, tape backup is actually still a reliable backup system – it’s durable and can handle a lot of data, though comes with the downside of needing the physical space to store it all.

Those without the tech know-how may look to third-party companies to handle their backup. Services like MozyPro and SpiderOak exist to backup business data, which has the benefits of monthly costs (rather than paying a lump sum upfront) and easy setup, though has the downside that it might take a long time to retrieve all your data if full recovery is needed. There’s also the question of how secure the cloud really is for storing your data on.

When it comes to backing up your small business data you need to opt for the solution that works best for you. Consider the staff skill you have at hand, the type and amount of data your storing, as well as the cost you can afford to output.


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