The small business world has changed dramatically in the past ten or twenty years. No longer is it necessary or sufficient to have a fireproof box with the ledgers and paperwork that is pertinent to running the business. In today’s business world, everything is computerized and can be stored on in a small amount of space. However, there still needs to be a backup system in place to store the data in the event that there is catastrophic event and the data needs to be restored. Online backup solutions for small businesses are often less expensive and easier to manage than some of the other backup systems that are available.
Types of Backups Available
There are many types of backup systems available, in addition to the online backup system. It is a good idea to start out by looking at each of these before deciding on the online backup system.
The first thing that should be understood is that backing up data should be done often, in fact, daily is a good idea. Some businesses have backup plans that run throughout the day backing up data in increments such as on every hour. This may be more robust than a small business needs or it could be exactly what is needed, depending on the type of business and the data being stored.
Hard Drive Backups
Hard drives have become very small in size with a very large storage capacity and portability that makes them an excellent back up source for small business. Portable, external hard drives are available today that can hold a 1T or more of data. This size external hard drive can usually suffice for a small business to hold the necessary data that needs to be backed up. Hard drive backup systems are relatively inexpensive and simple to operate. However, there are some down sides to this back up that need to be considered.
First, the hard drive back up must be set up on a rotating schedule so that there is always one copy of the backup offsite. This also means that there has to be a reminder or calendar that alerts the person in charge of the backup to rotate the hard drives. Secondly, hard drives do fail, they are made up of moving parts and so they are not without compromise. Should the hard drive fail, the business owner is left with no backup data unless they are using the secondary backup rotation plan.
Many small businesses have an IT company come in and initially set up a network backup system where the main data is backed up to another location on the network, such as a virtual server or even a separate computer. However, should the main network become compromised or damaged due to power shortages or other failures, the network backup becomes useless and the business is caught without a backup to restore operations.
DVD or Flash Drive
DVD and flash drives are not good ideas for backing up large amounts of data. These are great options for transporting a few files or perhaps banking information from the office to home; however, these are not feasible means of backing up large amounts of data. First, it would take a long time to copy all of the company’s data onto discs or flash drives and secondly, the probability of discs or flash drive becoming damaged or corrupt is high. These two options should only be used for copying small amounts of data.
Online data storage or cloud storage as it is being called is the newest and most robust method of ensuring that data is backed up and readily available when needed. The cost of online storage is very inexpensive. Small business owners don’t have to use an IT company in order to implement online back up and it can be set up to backup whenever the business wants.
Restoring data from an online storage company is as simple as the backup process and can be done from any computer with Internet access. These online companies guarantee security and the availability of the data anytime.
The most important thing to consider when researching online storage companies is their reputation and how the secure the data. Check references and speak to actual people who have used the company. It is important to know that the date being stored won’t be compromised and accessed by people who should not have access to it. It is just as important that the data be available at anytime, not just during business hours.
There are many different backup methods that are available for small business owners to choose from; however, choosing one that will be easy to use, inexpensive, and secure takes time and research. Online storage is quickly becoming the most used method for backing up data in both small and large businesses and should be considered one of the best options.