What’s the best way to backup?

backup
Which technology is right for your business – disk, tape or cloud backup?

With the silly season approaching your staff will be taking their laptops home with them for the holidays and your office will be unattended for a period of time. If you want a real break over Christmas without having constant flashes of what you will find when you return to work, now is a good time to make sure you have a back-up strategy that works!

So which strategy is right for your business – disk, tape or Cloud backup technology?

1. Disk back-up

Disk media is the most popular back-up technology these days, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses.

Pros:

Cheap – Disk is more cost effective than tape for relatively small & un-complex set-ups.
Fast – Disk is much faster than tape for writing and reading data.
Searchable – Data can be indexed when stored which means it is so much easier to search for lost pieces of data on a disk compared with tape.
Features – Disk drives can easily accommodate technologies such as de-duplication which removes all redundant pieces of data to save you space.

Cons:

Life of data – The data you store on disk won’t last as long as tape.
Damage – If you are regularly transporting your disk back-ups (e.g. offsite locations) then you risk mechanical failures which can make it difficult to recover data from a damaged disk.
More prone to human error – It’s easier to delete a back-up instance using disk compared with tape although these days there is software capable of undeleting the data depending on circumstances.

2. Tape back-up

Tape back-up is ideal for storing large volumes of data for years, even decades. Many consider tape a better tool for archiving but it still might have its place as a back-up solution for your business.

Pros:

Low cost – Per gigabyte tape can be cheaper than disk and if your storage requirements are vast and your performance requirements are low then it can save you a lot of money.
Longevity – Tape media can last up to 30 years when kept in the right conditions – much longer than disk.

Cons:

Reduced performance – In particular reading data from tape takes longer than disk and is not ideal if you are under time pressures to recover a failed system.
Data corruption – There is a higher risk of data corruption or problems reading data from tape due to the nature of the media.
Ageing technology – Tape has been around since the early days of IT and some doubt it will be around for much longer.

3. Cloud backup

Cloud is a popular way of storing data in a secure, offsite location and depending on your Cloud solution the back-ups can occur on either disk, tape or other new technologies such as SSD.

Pros:

Value for money – Cloud can be great value for money and it is common for small businesses to get access to gigabytes of Cloud storage for free.
Offsite redundancy – By nature Cloud backup is offsite and you can usually benefit from enterprise-grade security features and secure datacentres.
Elastic – You don’t have to overinvest early because you only pay for storage as your requirements grow.
No management – Disks are usually replaced as they wear or fail so your data must be copied regularly onto new media. Cloud services handle this process as part of service delivery so you don’t have to worry about it.

Cons:

Perceived concerns – Many wonder whether off-site data back-up will open their data streams to breaches from a third party or some unintended mingling of data with other customers. These concerns are unfounded if you use a reputable service.
Bandwidth costs – Your Telco bill can skyrocket if you are on the wrong plan because you will be pumping gigabytes or terabytes of data through your Internet connection. Full back-ups are expensive and many companies actually send their first batch of data to the datacentre on disk.
Time lag– Depending on the speed of your connection it can take a long time to perform your first back-up or recover your entire system data in the event of a data disaster.

So what’s the right strategy for you?

Every back-up model will have its benefits and drawbacks. As you make decisions regarding your company’s back-up methods, take a close look at:

  • The amount of data that is regularly stored and accessed across in your business
  • Your current bandwidth capabilities
  • The number of locations from which you’ll need to back up and transport any back-up tools
  • Your current back-up related costs and overall IT budget
  • Your current hardware set-up and any necessary upgrades
  • Your long-term IT strategy and the potential longevity of various back-up methods

If you need help with your back-up strategy then please get in touch with us at 1300 732 810.

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What not to buy this Christmas?

What not to buy this Christmas?

Looking to buy the latest gadget for your loved one this Christmas? Here are 5 techie gifts to avoid:

1. eBook reader

In 2011 we all bought eBook readers for our loved ones but since then tablets have come a long way. eBooks have traditionally been much cheaper than tablets but these days you can pick up the latest 7” Android tablet for under $200. eBooks have the advantage of being easy to read for long periods (using E Ink technology) but increasingly we are becoming used to reading books on our glossy tablet screens.

2. Windows RT tablet

Windows RT is the cut-down version of Windows 8 specifically designed for personal use to compete with iPad and Android. The problem is that Microsoft can’t compete on a like-for-like tablet with Apple and Google because they don’t have the range of apps. We can’t understand why Microsoft doesn’t drop RT for the fully-functional Windows 8 / Pro software. You may as well pay a bit extra to unlock the full functionality (support for legacy software, outlook and other business applications).

3. Smart watches

We’re on the verge of a revolution in smart watches – either that or the smart watch is a fad that will die out quickly. Either way you probably should not buy a smart watch now because Apple, Samsung, LG and Google are all reportedly working on major products for release soon. Early players have either delivered unstable performance or a mediocre set of functions. Just wait to see what happens.

4. 3D TV

3D TV is a fad, no doubt about it. When Avatar came out we were all sold on a 3D TV for our lounge room only to realise you can’t relax with your 3D glasses and a headache. So if you want to buy your partner a new TV this Christmas, is it really worth paying extra for 3D? We think not.

5. Bluetooth tracker tags

Bluetooth tracker tags are keyring-sized devices that you can stick or attach to those items you don’t want to risk losing – your wallet, keys, remote control or even your kid (attached to the shoelace)! The concept is great but the execution is not quite there yet. You need to be within 30 meters of the device to locate it and the tracking signal is not great. SticknFind and Genie are two leading models but we are all waiting for Tile, which is due to be launched mid next year. It might sound like a great gadget for Christmas but best wait for the next generation.

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