What is a Backup?

A backup is a crucial part of your business. Often one of the least thought about items, but often times one of the most important. A backup is not needed, until the day it is needed. It is important to have good backups to prevent the loss of documents, pictures, videos, and any other important business information.

 

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Types of Backups

  • External Hard Drive - These are cheap storage hard drives (typically with a spinning disk) that are used to store file locally on-site and can be stored in a safe or desk drawer.

  • Network Attached Storage - Often called a NAS box. A NAS box is a device that can sit in a rack or on a desk and it can plug into the network. Usually there are a minimum of 2 hard drives inside of the unit allowing for redundancy. Data can be sent across your network to a different office or room and will be backed up and stored on-site. ***Can be set up off-site as well.

  • Cloud - Big data storage companies will make system snapshots of your computers and store them off-site on their servers.

  • Sync Services - Services such as Google Drive or Dropbox. These can sync folders of files and check for changes. Very effective way to store raw documents off-site. This does not offer any system restore ability.


Risks

  • Hardware Failure - Component/Hardware failure is a common occurrence, a backup can be there to restore your setup when this happens.

  • Water - Many buildings have overhead sprinkler systems. Very dangerous to computers. If water damage happens, an off-site backup is key.

  • Fire - Fire also ties back into water damage. If the fire does not destroy your equipment, then likely the water to put the fire out will. Off-site backup is important.

  • Theft - What happens when a computer gets physically stolen? Having a backup is a great way to get it back. On-site or off-site both are good restore methods against this.

  • Electrical - Electrical storms, surges, or brownouts. Each of these can damage the hardware in a computer. Backups can also get damaged if they are plugged into a computer or connected to power in the same building. Off-site is the best restore method here.

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Restore

  • File Restore - Restoring only the backed up files to a new copy of an operating system. This means all programs and system settings would be lost during this restore.

  • Full System Restore - This type of restore should allow for an entire computer system with settings and programs to be restored to its full working state from the last point of the backup. These create very little downtime and get a system back up and running with very little setup.

  • Virtual Server Backup - Taking backups and restoring backups of a virtual server tend to be some of the most effective and easiest situations. As long as the virtualization software runs on the computer you are restoring to, the backup file can be copied on the computer and booted up. The system will work instantaneously with no setup.