Choosing the Right Data Protection Solution

Backup tapes each labelled with a different day of the weekYour business data constantly runs the risk of being maliciously stolen or permanently lost due to negligence, natural disasters or other factors outside of your control. But finding a data protection solution that combines affordability and maximum recovery capability can be a challenge. An increasing number of vendors are offering to protect your information, but until you are forced to recover your data, you can’t really tell if it’s properly protected—and by then it may be too late. Choosing the right data protection partner comes down to understanding your backup and recovery options and thoroughly vetting the supplier protecting your data.

Online vs. offline backup

Recently a flood of online backup solutions have appeared on the market, targeted to companies of all sizes. Also referred to as “cloud” or “remote” backup, these solutions promise easy, low-maintenance backup and swift recovery of data. While the process is automated and does not require physical intervention, it is dependent on internet speed for the transfer of data.

Offline backup involves the transfer of data from a database to a tape via hardware. This backup option allows large amounts of data to be protected at a low cost. Backup tapes, if protected offsite in an optimal environment, can be preserved for an extended period of time. Data recovery using offline backup is not dependent on internet speed.

Ensuring continuous data recovery

Online backup is marketed to individuals and companies as a low-maintenance and easy data protection solution, but because it is bandwidth-dependent, the volume of data that can be backed up at any given time is limited. Therefore, it may not be possible to back up all mission-critical data stored on a single hard drive. Bandwidth constraints also impact how quickly data can be restored. This is a stark contrast to offline backup where a large amount of data can quickly be written to tape. Data recovery with tape is not bandwidth-dependent and is extremely fast and efficient.

It makes a difference who stores your data

Any number of service providers are willing to store your data, but it’s hard to tell if your data will really be protected while in their custody. Some online backup providers do not even guarantee information protection that meets the requirements of regulations such as HIPAA. Anytime your data is stored online, there is a certain risk involved. Customers of Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) found this out early last year when researchers found that they could easily access 126 billion files stored on S3—files that should have been restricted—simply because their owners failed to mark them as “private.”

On the contrary, when using a locally-based media storage solution provider, you meet the real people who care for your data. There’s a lot at stake when storing a company’s data, and a local data protection vendor will take extra steps to ensure maximum privacy protection—after all, their reputation within your community depends on it. Still, as part of your due diligence when choosing a data protection solution, you should look for:

  • client references
  • experience and capabilities
  • certifications, honors and industry involvement

Richards & Richards provides businesses throughout Nashville with data protection solutions. For more information please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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