World Backup Day is just around the corner. During this global initiative, everyone is encouraged to make this pledge: "I solemnly swear to back up my important documents and precious memories on March 31st. I will also tell my friends and family about World Backup Day. Real friends don't let friends go without a backup.”
Of course, making this pledge is not enough. You have to actually go and back up your data so you can be protected against data loss and related risks.
What is a data backup?
A data backup is another copy of your data that is stored in a medium and/or physical location that's different from where you store your primary data. By having a backup, you can restore your data if your primary data gets corrupted or destroyed due to:
- Accidental file deletion or overwriting
- Power outage
- Hardware failure
- Natural disasters
Your data could also get stolen by hackers or even by someone inside your company, such as a disgruntled employee.
Without a data backup, you are at risk of losing access to critical information and files, which can disrupt your operations and lead to revenue loss and customer dissatisfaction.
How should businesses back up their data?
IT experts recommend adopting the 3-2-1 backup strategy, which involves:
- 3 – Having at least three copies of data (one primary copy and two backups)
Keeping at least three copies of your data helps you avoid a single point of failure, enabling you to recover from any data loss incident.
- 2 – Saving data backups on two different mediums
Having two backups on two different mediums, such as an external hard drive and cloud storage, improves the chances that at least one backup will be available for data recovery.
- 1 – Keeping one data backup off site
Storing one backup off site ensures that you can still access your data even if the primary data's physical location becomes inaccessible. Suppose that the office, where your primary data and one backup are kept, is destroyed by fire; you can still recover your data using your cloud backup.
What are the different mediums for storing data backups?
There are plenty of data backup mediums available in the market, including:
- Magnetic tape
- Optical media (e.g., CD-ROM and DVD-ROM)
- Hard disk drive
- Solid state drive and flash drive
- Network-attached storage
- Cloud storage
The storage medium you choose will highly depend on the kind of data you’re backing up.
For example, if you’re backing up enormous volumes of data that do not require frequent updating (e.g., old company event photos), then magnetic tape may be ideal. Magnetic tapes are a cost-effective and long-lasting storage solution, with a life span of 10–30 years. On the other hand, hard disks last only 3–5 years and CDs and DVDs have a life span of 2–10 years.
Tape backups are best suited for backing up and restoring an entire system in one go since tapes store data linearly. This means you can't easily access individual files; you'll have to go through all the earlier stored files first before you can access the one you need. Just like listening to music on a cassette tape (cassettes use magnetic tape), you can't just jump to the fifth track without having to play or fast forward through the first four tracks.
If you’re backing up data that gets frequently updated by multiple remote users, then cloud storage may make more sense. Cloud storage's always-on file syncing capabilities enable users to access the same file versions on any internet-connected device, including smartphones.
What’s more, cloud backups are stored in multiple servers across different locations. So even if one server goes down, there are other servers that you can tap for data recovery. Lastly, with cloud backup, you can easily scale up or down your storage volume as your requirements evolve. This means you pay for only what you currently need.
Need help choosing the right data backup solutions for your business? You can turn to the IT experts of Quicktech. We will help you create and implement an effective data backup and recovery strategy that will protect your company from data loss. Get in touch with us today.