Support Guys

Backup Solutions

So... it's not the 90s any more. Everyone knows they need a backup strategy - anything of value on your computer needs to be kept elsewhere as well. In business this is even more important - telling a client that their project is delayed because a hard drive failed or a laptop was dropped could mean losing that client.

Backup solutions/strategy should consider a number of factors, not only the data security, but also the downtime or restore time to recover a mission critical device back to working order. People often don't think about backups in the right way. A backup is about getting yourself Back Up and running in the most appropriate amount of time. Thinking about accidental data loss, deliberate data loss, physical data loss, and how you will get to a position where work can be continued and delivered is key.

Business needs vary widely. Some businesses need to be back up and running in hours. Some businesses need to be able to function uninterrupted even if the main office loses power/floods/burns down. How long could your business be without critical data, or a critical device?

There is a staggering array of options to choose from; local network backups, local physical backups, cloud storage solutions, or dedicated storage solutions. Each have advantages and disadvantages. One system's weakness (for example the time needed to complete an offsite backup) can be compensated for by another's strength. And never forget the human factor. We have seen a strategy fail because the person who took home the backup hard drive left the company 3 years ago and never brought it back...

Cloud is a great solution (or as it should really be called, "someone else's computer") but if you have hundreds of gigabytes of data it could take days or even weeks to re-download from the cloud.

Here at Support Guys we tend to recommend a combination of on-premises and cloud solutions, so that you can be up and running quicker in the event of a failure - however it's important to tailor a plan to your specific requirements. Looking at backup as a risk profile is important to understand which parts of the business are needed urgently, and protecting them accordingly, understanding the human risks as well as the IT system risks. This should form part of your Disaster Recovery Plan - often needed these days for any government contracts, bank loans, or certifications like Cyber Essentials or GDPR Compliance.

In the Mac ecosystem using a Time Machine drive/server locally also gives you protection against accidentally deleted files, by keeping hourly snapshots of systems. Time Machine (if configured correctly) will also backup the system, applications and data (such as passwords in the keychain) meaning that in the event of a failure the system can be rebuilt in a timescale that will be short enough for many (though by no means all) use cases.

We can deliver a strategy and support documentation to cover most risks; with costs outlined before implementation so you can rest easy, and get on with delivering what you are in business to do!

We've been designing and deploying backup solutions for 21 years, and the technology has changed a lot. If you have concerns over your data, get in touch to book in a consultation with one of our specialists.