Backup Solutions:
How To Keep Your Data Safe

You are well aware that protecting your company’s data with a dependable backup system, and protecting your overall computer network is of crucial importance. But how do you distinguish technology hype from reality? How do you know what backup solutions are cost effective … and which ones are just over-kill?

These are very valid and important questions that need to be answered and they’re questions that we at Imagine IT have been helping our Twin Cities clients answer for the past 17 years. But like all technology, the quality, price and effectiveness of data backup has changed and improved over the past couple of years.

Let’s begin with one of the most widely used back up tools …

Data Backup Solutions - Minneapolis, St Paul, Edina

Tape backup becoming obsolete

Tape Backup is rapidly becoming a thing of the past

Over the past 10+ years tape back has been the main choice for small to medium-sized companies in the Twin Cities. And in its day, tape backup was a pretty good solution … many companies continue to use it today. But like all technology solutions, tape backup has become somewhat outdated…does it still work, sure, a lot of technologies would still work if you used them…but like floppy disks and other technologies, it doesn’t mean they are still the best or most affordable option. The truth is, the new data backup options that are now available make running your business a little bit smoother, more efficient, safe, and in many cases more affordable.

One of the biggest questions business owner have is…

When is the most cost-effective time to upgrade your technology?

It is always a difficult situation deciding when is the best time to switch over to the next level of technology … and data backup is no exception.  But, with data backup that decision is pretty easy … the time is now! With the combination of Onsite, Online and Disk Imaging Technology, you get almost a fool-proof and affordable way to protect your network and your data.

How do you create a fool-proof and affordable backup solution?

It’s not nearly as difficult as you might think … your plan needs to include these 3 backup best practices:

Data Backup Solutions - Minneapolis, St Paul, Edina

Backup solution

1. On-Site Backup File

A copy of the backup file that is stored onsite is the backbone of a properly configured backup system because the backup file resides on the local area network (LAN).  Because of this, the backup data file can be accessed very quickly allowing for very rapid recovery of lost or corrupt data.

2. Off-Site

A copy of the backup data file needs to be kept safely offsite, protecting your business data in the event of a fire, flood, theft or other disaster.  Offsite backup can take two distinct forms:

A. Physical Offsite Backup

In some cases the data file is stored on tapes or external hard drives that can be physically removed each night.  Typically, one employee is given the responsibility of taking the tape/hard drive home with them each evening.

Data Backup Solutions - Minneapolis, St Paul, Edina

Off-Site Backup

B. Online Backup

Online backup which could be data-only or an entire image of the hard drive (see below), is sent via internet to an off-site secured data center. Online backup can occur once a day (each evening) or can occur continuously (every 15 minutes) throughout the day.

3. Disk Imaging

Disk imaging is a comprehensive backup of the entire server – and not just the data that is stored on the server.  In fact, disk Imaging is very different from the typical “data backup” because in addition to a complete backup of the data, the “image” also contains all of the operating system, applications and other configurations on the server.  Because of this, the image can be restored very quickly to bring entire server back online if it were to become corrupted or non-functional.

Individual data files can also be recovered from the backup image.   When the backup system is set to do incremental backups throughout the day, missing and corrupt files can be recovered from 15-minute segments. Disk imaging is a vital component of any properly configured backup system.

  • The 6 components of a (nearly) fool proof Backup Strategy
  • Click here if you would like to read a fully detailed and comprehensive plan on how to create a “fool proof” backup plan for your company.
  • Introducing Imagine Backup

    A state-of-the-art backup and Business Continuity System

    Learn More

  • Understanding disk imaging
  • “Imaging” a hard drive is very different than a tape backup solution. It’s disk oriented instead of file oriented so the imaging software in essence, copies the entire hard drive.  This means that an image captures everything at the moment that the image is created.  Many professionals call the image a “snapshot” because it is much like taking a picture of everything on the drive at one point in time.  If a data server goes down or files are accidently deleted, with a disk backup you can simply look at a snapshot from 15 minutes ago, and recover everything perfectly up until that point!
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    Business Continuity

  • How good is your Business Continuity Plan?
  • Here you’ll learn how to build a business continuity plan around your data backup, that will get you up and running in the event of a disaster — big or small!
  • What makes a “Fool Proof” backup strategy?
  • Here you’ll learn the components of a comprehensive plan for backing up all of your company’s data files: data and programs.
  • Is online backup truly secure?
  • Online backup is one of the most convenient forms of backing up files. Instead of storing your data files on just tape or disk, you send your data over the internet.  But is it truly secure? Here you will learn the details of how online backup works, how it is secured and whether it is a viable option for your business.