The Wonderful World of Backups

Written by Sam Kemp, Enterprise Solutions Architect and data storage expert…

Now I know what you’re thinking.  “Why do I care enough to even bother reading through this?”  Backups are boring.  There’s nothing sexy about them…no amazing tech that revolutionizes the industry…no “wow-factor”.  One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that they are necessary.  Backups are your insurance policy for those incidents you can’t see coming.  They save your organization time and time again from accidental deletion of files, failed hard drives, natural disasters or even ransomware.  Backups can be the difference between continuing with “business as usual” and suffering financial and operational interruption leading to bankruptcy.  Just take a look at these statistics: 

  • 60% of companies who experience data loss shut down within 6 months.  (Source:  Boston Computing) 
  • On average, small companies lose over $100,000 per ransomware incident due to downtime.  (Source: CNN Money) 
  •  40% of small-to-medium sized businesses (SMB) that manage their own network and use the Internet for more than e-mail will have their network accessed by a hacker, and more than 50% won’t even know they were attacked.  (Source: Gartner Group) 

And yet even with those ugly numbers staring organizations in the face, 58% of businesses still have no backup plan for data loss.  (Source:  Small Business Trends)  

All is not lost!

There is a light at the end of the tunnel with all this doom and gloom.  Anyone can protect themselves from digital disaster.  No matter the size…from an individual wanting to keep their photos safe to the multi-thousand employee enterprise…a solution exists, and it doesn’t have to break the bank.  For the personal user, Backblaze is $5 per month.  People spend more per day on coffee than this product costs for a month!  The small business market space has plenty of companies with fantastic products at rates as low as $0.09/GB per month.   

Personal and SMB technology focus is all about cloud-based backup, sending all your data to the cloud.  Cloud-based backups are fantastic products, but there are caveats.  It’s primary means of transportation is your internet connection, and most SMBs are limited to the bandwidth their cable or DSL providers can give which typically isn’t much more than 20mbs upload speeds.  Calculations start coming into play with how much data you have, what you want to have backed up, and how often that data changes.   

Take the following example:   Your internet connection can upload at 20Mbps and you have 50GB of data to transfer.  The transfer time for that data is 5.3 hours.  Let’s say the company has 500GB of data to transfer; now you’re talking 53 hours! 

When you start getting into initial backups jobs taking longer than a day, other variables come into play like the change rate your data has daily.  Companies with large data sets must make the decision on whether to spend extra money getting a larger internet connection or use an on-premise solution which has risks and is prone to mistakes. 

Backups are your insurance policy protecting your future

Backups are boring, and no one wants to deal with it, but they are absolutely 100% necessary and so important to protect your personal and company data.  Backup jobs get neglected, pushed to the side and alerts turn to noise in your mailbox.  I’ve seen so many companies with great backup tools and no one taking the time to make it any kind of priority they lost data because something wasn’t being backed up or the jobs were failing.  This is a copy of your data that you will have to come back to in case of data loss.  It is just as important as your databases, CMS, ERP, etc.  Make it a point to treat it as such.   

One thought on “The Wonderful World of Backups

  1. David Webb says:

    While data backup is great start all businesses need to look holistically at continuity of operations planning. Answer The Who, What, When, Where and How your company will continue operations. How long can your recovery take before it drives you into loss and possible bankruptcy. A business recovery plan and data backup are cheap insurance to ensure your business remains viable after a disaster or other incident, be it natural or cyber.

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