Whether you are looking after a medium-sized business or a sprawling multinational corporation, data is always going to be one of the most important things you need to be aware of. Having a good approach to data is vital, and a big part of this will always be backing data up. We all know that backing up data is recommended, but do you know why?
What is Data Backup?
Data backup refers to the creation of secondary copies of a file or set of files, so that they can be relied upon should the originals fail in some way. That might be due to loss, theft, data corruption, or a whole host of other issues, many of which we will discuss below. In any case, as long as the data is backed up somewhere in some form, you will still be able to have access to it.
Having a data backup process can remove much of the stress from your IT processes, and in some cases it’s also a legal requirement - so it’s certainly something you will need to know about to keep your business running.
Advantages of Data Backup
As we have alluded to briefly already, there are a number of advantages to backing up your data, whether you are only backing up the essential data or everything that you have on file. Here are some of the primary advantages of backing up data that you may want to be aware of.
Recover Lost Data
Perhaps the most obvious benefit to backing up your data is that you will be able to recover it should it become lost, corrupted or stolen. Depending on the nature of the data and how serious the breach is, being able to access it could be quite useful, or it could be hugely relevant to the continuation of the business.
Recover Old Data
There are occasions when it is actually preferable to have the older version of something, or when you need to go back to some old data. Having it all backed up means you can do this easily and without trouble.
Reduce Business Downtime
However it happens, lost data invariably causes downtime - both in the process of trying to find it, and in terms of work potentially being lost and having to be remade. As long as there is a backup copy, however, the downtime can be reduced considerably, often down to zero.
As mentioned above, data backups are often a legal requirement - such as when you are storing customers’ data, and you need to keep it safe and up to date. So you’ll have to have backups in order to pass compliance.
Types of Data Backup Devices
There are many ways to backup data, and a lot of those methods involve different backup devices. Here is a brief rundown of some of the most common and popular.
Fast becoming the norm, the cloud is one of the strongest means available of backing up data. With cloud backup, you are essentially creating a copy of files in an external server, and one that you are able to access easily from any terminal in your organisation. That is part of why it is such a popular choice, and there is a huge market for cloud backup services for you to choose between.
This is very similar to a cloud backup, in that in both cases you are merely making use of a server that is stored elsewhere. But with a more traditional backup server, you might not have the same instant access approach that you can expect from a cloud backup. Nonetheless, it’s still a very effective method.
External Hard Disk Drives or Solid State Drives
You also have the option to store backup data physically on drives. Here you have two main options: hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid state drives (SSDs). The main technical difference between the two is that SSDs have no moving parts - instead, data is written using flash memory. They are generally more expensive than traditional HDDS per GB too. If you need a lot of storage space, you probably want to opt for HDD.
Typically used for offline, archival data storage, there is still a lot of need in many companies for tape drives. They are favoured for their low unit cost and long stability, in that they can hold a lot of data for a long time without any trouble. However, you cannot store as much on the same amount of physical space when compared to other drives.
Causes of Data Loss
Of course, it is preferable if you can avoid data loss happening at all in the first place. Here are four of the main causes of data loss to be aware of.
This kind of corruption can happen accidentally, or as a result of malicious attacks.
Who hasn’t accidentally deleted a file at some point or another? This can happen at any time to anyone.
If a drive is physically damaged, it can cause loss of the data being stored on that drive - so keeping the physical thing safe is paramount.
Viruses & Malware
And finally, viruses and malware can purposefully cause data loss, sometimes quite significantly.
What Happens if Data is Not Backed Up?
If you don’t have a backup copy of lost data, then it is lost for good. So it is clearly a very good idea to make sure that you have a proper backup procedure.
Who Needs to Use Data Backup and Recovery Services?
Anyone working within a business who needs to look after the data and ensure that it can be rectified should anything go wrong, will benefit from a data backup and recovery service.
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