Whenever I get into a discussion about which type of backup is better, I usually encounter those that think having only local backup is the way to go, while others tout the benefits of the cloud.
Both camps are half right.
Local backup works well for quick restores because the device is right there in your office next to your server or high-value workstation. It’s fast and easy to start the restoration process should you lose data, simply because the backup device is readily accessible. If you go the local only route, you should ask yourself, what happens if:
- A hardware problem occurs and your backup device fails?
- The power goes out?
- Your backup device gets damaged or is destroyed?
- The backup device is stolen?
OK, so the local route has issues, so why not just use the cloud? It appears to solve all of the above problems? Or, does it? Here’s a key consideration:
- Since your data is in the cloud, restoration depends on your internet speed and bandwidth. Large files take longer to download. Depending on the size of the files, downloads can take hours to days and can be more difficult and time consuming if your internet connection fails during the process. Remember, time is your chief enemy during recovery. The longer it takes, the more your business stands to lose in money, customer goodwill and reputation.
The type of backup you select matters
There are two types of backups a business can deploy, data backup and image-based backup. Both can be performed locally or in the Cloud:
- Data backup only backs up data. It does not backup the Operating System or Source programs such as Microsoft Office, Adobe, etc. Because of this, Data backup does not guarantee a quick recovery.
- Image-based solutions take a complete picture of a server or workstation, saving everything (Operating System, Source programs, Data, Pictures, etc.), allowing for fast restores of the entire system.
So, the question remains, which is the better backup system for businesses?
Enter the Image-based Hybrid-cloud backup solution
The Image-based Hybrid-cloud backup solution is superior to local only or cloud only solutions. Here’s why:
- The Hybrid-cloud uses onsite and offsite backup, giving businesses the best data protection.
- Images or complete pictures of your server are taken and saved to a file that can be virtualized almost immediately. Essentially, virtualization creates a software version of your actual server.
- Images are saved to a local, onsite device whose sole purpose is to take snapshots of your server at predetermined intervals, capturing the exact state at points in time. Since the device is sitting right there next to your server, super-fast local restores are possible. And here’s the bonus—if a hardware problem knocks your server out of commission, the onsite device can immediately take over all server functions in minutes—virtually eliminating downtime.
- The image from the onsite device is also replicated to the Cloud and saved in two (2) geographically dispersed and hardened data centers for added security and redundancy. At any one point in time, you have three (3) copies of your server in separate locations around the country (i.e. onsite, data center on the east coast, data center on the west coast). Additionally, server operations can be operated from the cloud should your office or equipment get damaged or destroyed.
It is very important for business owners and company executives to know the types of backups available for their businesses and the best one to select for maximum protection. Data backup is the least expensive, but doesn’t offer the recovery speed, automatic redundancy and options that Image-based hybrid-cloud systems do. Local only and cloud only solutions just can’t offer complete protection or peace-of-mind—only Image-based hybrid-cloud systems do that.
Don’t forget to download our free MS Excel-based IT Disaster Recovery Plan for your business.
Joseph Imperato Sr. is the Managing Partner for XSolutions Consulting Services, a Managed Services Provider (MSP) delivering Computer Support, Business Continuity, Cloud Services, and IT Consulting to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut businesses. Call us at (845) 362-9675 and see how we can help your company.