They say that technology is all about making life easy. It presents us with far more choices to complete the most mundane of tasks. And yet, these options and choices presented can make it seem far more complicated than what it needs to be.
For those seeking help, advice and guidance, there are various agencies, bodies and organisations to which they can turn, including long-established businesses such as Castle Computers. When it comes to backing up data, as mundane as it seems, it is possibly one of the most essential daily or frequent tasks that any business needs to do.
You know itâs important but, where and how do you back up? Do you opt for cloud storage or do you stick with the tried and tested physical data storage option?
A note of caution
We in a very different world to the one we inhabited ten years, even fifteen years ago. Just as technology has revolutionised how we live our lives, it has come with a dark mass casting a deep shadow: security breaches, hacking and so on is commonplace.
We are advised to protect our data online against these unseen enemies, and this is why backing up data is important, but doing it in a way that is secure.
Data management is something we should all be doing but which option is safer, cheaper, quicker and better - online or local storage?
Local storage - the simplest solution?
There is nothing more simple, perhaps, than backing up your computer or system to a or tape. You make a copy and as you leave of an evening, take it with you. Or that is the theory at least.
Local storage involves investing in various pieces of kit, maintaining it and looking after it, to a certain extent. Take the example of magnetic tape.
The same medium we used to record the pop charts from the radio on a Sunday evening, the tape never went away. Just because we gravitated towards CDs and it stopped being a common site in shops, the tape has long held many advantages in the computing world.
Cost-effective and with huge capacity, the tape has been used by businesses of all sizes to continually back up their important data. It is also a great medium to use as an archive. Kept in the right conditions - tape doesnât like in temperature or humidity, and neither does it like dust - it is simply perfect.
There are all kinds of tape drives and libraries that mean if one tape is full, it automatically switches to another. Providing the rest of your system is also functioning at the correct speed, it will capture and record a continuous stream of data.
If your servers are struggling to keep up, however, there is a thing call ââ that happens; the constant stopping and starting of the tape that will do it no good at all.
Or, if you are not so keen on tape, you can also invest in hard drives to do just exactly the same job. Except, according to various statistics and so on, there is a large failure rate when it comes to hard drives - according to Google as high as 8.6% - which presents frustrations. However, take some time to research hard drives and you will see that many companies overcome this by running a system of hard drives.
You may think this is the more expensive option but, with hard drives that have been professionally refurbished, it is a viable option that is used by many businesses.
The online option - a better solution in the modern age?
There are many cloud storage options for businesses too and has one distinct advantage over offline data backup - data can be accessed from anywhere. You can access your data from anywhere in the world, from the pine forests of America to the outback of Australia.
Bear in mind, however, that not every place on earth is blessed with an internet connection and, that not everywhere has a clear, fast and secure internet either.
That said, the cloud storage services are great in so many ways; you can buy the storage space you need at the time that you need it. As your business grows and becomes busier, you will need to consider expanding the backup data provision you have.
But, you are taking a leap of faith. You are effectively placing important and valuable data in the hands of another company. As proficient and efficient as they are, this provision for backup is not immune to , nor to the hackers.
Which one will your choose?
In all honesty, it is not about choosing one over the other. Considering the value of your data, it pays to rely on more than one option. Thus, if the lights go out, your data is secure in an online fault somewhere but, if there is an online security breach you have access to tape or hard drives.
Data is possibly the most important asset you have; how do you protect it?