Traditional Backups Are A Thing of the Past

The days of the traditional backup are numbered – at least for those who make smart use of their resources. While a traditional backup is still a viable option for those who have the budget, using a new cloud-based backup solution can easily prove to be the more efficient and affordable option.

Having a backup system in place is a must-have for every organization, and there are multiple ways to do it. But is it worth it to let a secondary application take a big bite out of your budget? In most cases, the answer is no. Using a traditional backup solution forces you to invest in expensive software and hardware, as well as renting an offsite location to keep the backup in a safe place.

Additionally, if the traditional backup solution isn’t maintained properly, you run the risk of losing critical data. It can also cause potential bandwidth restrictions that may interrupt daily operations.

The bottom line is: The cloud offers an affordable alternative that eliminates the boundaries of traditional backups and provides the means to run an easy, fast and secure backup. The backup specialists at airbackup have laid out the top ten things you need to look for when selecting an online backup solution. 

  1. Can you test the product before buying it?

If you can’t test the product first, don’t buy it! A backup solution is a business decision, and any business decision should be the result of proper research and understanding of the product you are investing in. The only way to completely understand the product is by doing a proper test run, and it needs to be for free!

  1. How good is the support?

Before starting your backup program, get in touch with the support team, and ask all the hard questions beforehand. If they can’t answer the questions correctly and efficiently, than this product is not the right one for you. All products say the same thing, but you need to make sure that the support team lives up to what they’re saying.

It’s also important to give the support team a few tough obstacles to overcome. If they can’t fix them—don’t use them! Since it is a secondary application, you want to be able to have the backup solution, set it up, and then be done with it. Make sure you can do that with your backup choice. 

  1. Where is the data center located and how does that affect daily operations?

When finding the right backup solution, it’s important to look at where your data center is located. The physical location can determine how your data is treated. Although the cloud tends to be another name for somewhere you don’t know, it’s critical to know the physical location.

  1. What standards are applied and what do they mean?

How does your backup solution handle your data? Work with your service provider to understand exactly how the solution will handle your sensitive data before making a decision. Have them demystify the tech lingo and put it into terms you can understand.

  1. How is the data encrypted?

When you put your business critical data into the hands of somebody else, you want to be sure that it won’t be compromised. The best way to ensure the integrity of the data is to encrypt it. Yet while many providers claim to offer secure encryption you just don’t know whether it is just their regular sales pitch. What you want is local encryption on the basis of your user generated encryption code.

  1. Are there different layers of protection?

While encrypting your data locally is critical, it’s also important to make sure that your data is safe during the transfer to your online data center. That means that the connection between you and the data center needs to be encrypted as well. Once the data reaches its “final” destination, it should be mirrored so that it becomes redundant.

Another important question to consider is how you will be able to access your data when you don’t have access to the internet. Does the backup solution give you the option to store data offline?

  1. Does the backup supply all the functionalities your business needs?

Backing up data is always about creating the security your business needs. So the essential question you always want to ask yourself before running a backup is “What kind of data is crucial for your business?” This is important because different backup tools handle different data types differently. In general, the data, which will matter most to you will be sitting in a database or on your mail server. So how about your MySQL, MSSQL, or Microsoft Exchange Server data? Can you back that up hassle free?

  1. How is the data organized for the backup?

The one thing users complain about most is the time it takes to run a backup. This is directly connected to the way the data is organized. While there isn’t much that can be done to accelerate the initial backup, there is a variety of things that can be done to speed up the subsequent backups. The key to speeding up the backup process is to process only the altered data, and break it down as far as you can so that only the modified data blocks will have to be transmitted to the cloud.

Once the data is altered, you need to find out how quickly the software can detect the data that has been altered, and what it does with any duplicate data. You’ll also need to ask your support team if the data is compressed prior to the transfer, so that it doesn’t cloak the lines on its way.

  1. Is there a chance to manage the bandwidth that is used?

One of the side effects of having an efficient backup solution is that it uses some of your business’ bandwidth capacity. Determine how much bandwidth your backup solution can use so that it doesn’t interfere with your daily operations. Working with your system providers can help with this

10. How does the restore work?

A backup is useless if you can’t restore your data when it’s critical. This is the one thing you should test when trying out your solution for the first time. If it doesn’t restore your data during the test run, it won’t restore your data when it’s necessary. After deciding on the right backup solution for your data, you should be 100% confident in your program. It should be easy and pain-free, and with today’s technology, it shouldn’t take more than one click of a button to have all your files restored.