Having a backup strategy as a small business owner means having a long-term and comprehensive back up plan on how best to protect and store data. The key to developing an effective strategy is first to determine how much data your business needs to back up and how often to back up. Once these questions are answered and a plan is in place, it’s best to review the many data backup solutions on the market and figure out which one best suits your business strategy.
Decide on how many copies of data to store: It is strongly recommended that business owners develop strategies that aim at saving three copies of data. The first is the production data, generated on a primary device or machine; the second is the copy kept on site. This could be stored on a tape or an external drive. The third copy is preferably an off-site copy which isn’t susceptible to theft or physical damage.
Decide on what data to back up: Are you looking to back up only essential data like documents and records, your business requires that you back up entire operating systems. Your answer to this question will determine how much storage space you will need to back up your data.
Backup options: It might be prudent to consider both off-site and on-site data backups. External drives, for instance, are reliable and inexpensive and a common on-site backup strategy. The downside is that back up will be manual and can be difficult depending on how often it needs to be done. Also, the drive provides limited storage.
Another common option is cloud backups. They are convenient for small business owners who do not generate large volumes of data and require minimal technical experience, making it ideal for organizations with limited professional IT resources. Depending on your storage needs you can spend anything between $100 and $800 or more. Cloud storage providers include Carbonite, Mozy, iDrive, Dropbox and SOS Online back up.
For business owners who run business applications, databases and email on servers, backing up is just as necessary. Businesses which use Windows servers, for instance, can use the Windows Server Backup for data backup and recovery. This option offers a storage size of 2 TB and can back up a full server or specific files or folders.
Cost: It is vital to compare prices of backup products on the market before settling on the most cost-effective products depending on the specific needs of your business. Pricing schemes especially for cloud-based backups are generally based on the amount of GB of data stored in a given month, and the price range varies as a result.
Performance: Before you purchase a backup solution, test it to evaluate its performance. Most products come with a trial period. Whether it’s a 7-day or 30-day trial, take advantage of it and assess its responsiveness to the needs of your business.
Your business data is a crucial asset to your company. Make an effort to protect it any way you can, using any of the options explained above. If you can, try to set up automatic backups to ensure that your backup strategy is working for you.