The modern data backup: challenges, types and solutions

149
backup

How important do you think is data backup for an organisation? Crucial, right?

If you’re heading an organisation, you already know how risky losing your data could be. What if it falls into wrong hands? What if someone within the organisation accidentally deleted the important data and you don’t have a copy of it? Or unfortunately, there happened to be a fire accident at your workplace and you lost most of your confidential documents. Sounds scary, right? It is hard to even imagine this scenario. So what if this situation occurs, you must be prepared, don’t you agree?

In an organisation, on a daily basis, people deal with hundreds of important documents. So it becomes your prime responsibility to keep all this data safe. As this data is not only related to your business, it can be related to your customers, clients or stakeholders at large.

Data backup is the process of backing up your data i.e., creating and storing copies of your data which can be of huge help in case your organisation faces a data loss. This method will protect your data in any situations such as data corruption or deletion. It is part of the disaster recovery plan of an organisation. 

Data Backup Solutions

If you miss any file or accidentally uninstall an application or operating system it can be easily reinstalled or found in your recycle bin. But that is not the case with your data. If you lost your data, it can be quite frustrating, stressful and at times it is impossible to get your data back. This is where data backup solutions come into the picture. With properly configured backup solutions in place, your data backup progress can become less frustrating and painful. 

In most cases, data loss can even result in the subsequent bankruptcy. So it is the system administrator responsibility to have a backup of all the important information. There are many adverse situations such as cyber-attack, physical theft, software or hardware failure that can take place in an organisation. And none of these situations come pre-announced so it is your responsibility to be prepared for any kind of scenarios.

With data backup and recovery solutions in place, you can minimise the impact of any adverse situations whilst protecting all your confidential data.

Types of data that needs to be backed up

Documents

Any documents such as spreadsheets, files or any other documents you need to take the backup. Because of remote working conditions if you’re not working on your computer for any reason always carry a flash drive to use. All you have to do is simply copy your data and to be double sure, just send the document to your email or upload it to your cloud service and have it online. 

Media

Sounds, videos, photographs or any other media for that matter always have a backup and since the media files are in the larger size, so you require a different strategy to backup them.

OS & Application data

It is important for you to make a copy and protect all your valuable entries. They can include calendar entries, e-mails, browsing history, social media, contacts. Not only these but you must backup your operating system and application settings. These are often overlooked but they are as important as others in the list. Once data is lost, it is lost forever. So it is better to be safe than sorry. 

Types of data backup systems

Multiple types of data backup systems & software products are available in the market. Each of these is offering different RTO’s (Recovery Time Objective), RPO’s (Recovery Point Objective) and or the overall amount of data they want to work with. Here is the classification below.

Hardware Backup Systems

Hardware Backup and Recovery Systems are the devices of different sizes. These rack-mounted devices are usually installed and connected to your organisation’s internal network. They are easy to install and rarely you must install software or provide a separate server or OS to launch and make it work. The backup process will automatically start once you have installed the software on your working systems. It gives access to the files you have backed up too. 

But the one important thing you must remember is that if this type of recovery system is your data repository then there is a risk too. If the system fails and you lose data once, you cannot recover it back. You can have a secondary backup solution but it is going to take a long time to recover the data. But the thing about this recovery system is that you can even support it with a cloud-based one too. This type of recovery system is perfect for long term storage purposes. 

Software Backup Systems

Software Backup and Recovery Systems are other options for those who are not interested in the hardware recovery systems. The software recovery system is highly popular and they operate differently compared to the hardware systems. All you have to do is install it on your system and once the initial set up is done, it will handle the backup process on its own. You can also choose where you want your backup data to be stored to be dedicated servers created specifically for the recovery process or your existing system. 

But remember if you want to save all the data on a separate server then you must install it on your system, set up the OS and the preferred data back up software to act as your backup storage. These data backup and recovery systems can be easily installed on a virtual machine too. Comparisons between hardware and software recovery systems are inevitable. The most common difference is that software is more flexible and offers more options. Most importantly it is cheaper compared to the hardware recovery systems.

Cloud Backup 

The technology is constantly evolving and its evolution is making lives easier for people. And one of such excellent evolutions is cloud computing. Saving all your data will give you the liberty to access your data from anywhere at any time. The IT trends are storing large amounts of data in the cloud. And data backup is no exception to it. You just have to install a third-party agent on your computer and the other device. Then you can backup both the recover and backup the data between your device and the cloud storage. 

Many service providers are offering BaaS (Backup-as-a-Service) in the market and most of the organisations are choosing this system because it is least complicated and you don’t have to install or get yourself a storage device. But remember when you’re choosing a cloud-based storage system, you must check if the vendor meets all the required standards. Check their security and compliance standards clearly before entering into a contract.

Conclusion

With so many options available in the market, it can get quite hard to choose one. All the backup systems have their own merits and demerits but take your time and look for a backup solution that matches your requirements. From RPO’s too technical constraints of the vendor, there are many things that need to be taken into consideration before making a final decision. The best data protection  solution will lessen your worries and gets back to being productive in case of failure.