The Ins and Outs of Offsite Data Backup
Does your business maintain and operate a high-level enterprise data center? If so, then you can’t afford not to delve into offsite data backup. However, the process of knowing exactly how to go about it can be quite confusing to some. That’s why we’re covering the ins and outs of offsite data backup.
Here are a few things to consider before starting (we’ll go over each):
- Recovery-point objective (RPO)
- Recovery-time objective (RTO)
What is Offsite Data BackUp?
In essence, it’s a method of backing up data to a remote, cloud-based server or to another piece of data storage hardware. The data storage hardware can then be transported, somewhere other than where the other data is stored, hence the term off-site.
Factors to Consider
Recovery-Time Objective (RTO)
The recovery-time objective is the time it will take you to recover any lost data. This is one of, if not the main reason to look into the different offsite data backup options available. It is always smart to ensure your data is secure, no matter what.
When utilizing offsite data storage with physical data storage hardware like data tape cartridges, down time can be a factor in your company’s RTO. For example, if your company is located in California and your storage facility is located in Idaho, there will be a downtime in the transportation between the two locations.
However, it is a good idea to have a fair amount of distance between your backup data and mainline data. This practice will protect against a total data loss if both were stored in the same local area. If a natural disaster were to occur, all of your data could be completely wiped out.
In the event of a natural disaster at the mainline facility, a data recovery would require physically moving tape cartridges between locations. With the task of setting them up for a restoration included, you’ll need to account for shipping and travel time. However, this also depends on the size of the company, the number of tape cartridges. And the amount of data attempting to be restored.
Recovery-Point Objective (RPO)
The recovery point objective is the amount of time between data backups, based on the method you use to back up your data.
For obvious reasons, cloud backup storage comes with the most advantages in terms of RPO. Some of them include:
- Multiple backups in any given 24-hour period
- No physical hardware to buy, maintain, or store
- Quicker recovery times
While using physical data tape cartridges has security and cost advantages of its own, the data backup opportunities might not be as convenient. This goes with saying that should an organization experience a major data loss, they may not be guaranteed accurate, up to date information.
The Risk of Offsite Backup
The utilization of cloud services as a backup and data storage is becoming more popular than ever before; even among organizations that prefer a hybrid approach.
However, many companies still have concerns about potential security breaches within a cloud service provider. This cloud apprehension has led to the recent comeback of hard disk storage.
The way you decide to implement your data backup will affect your RPO and RTO, and both methods come with their own risks. For example:
- You can increase security and reduce risk by storing tape cartridges farther; resulting in an increased RTO and decreased RPO.
- You can decrease the RTO and increase the RPO by storing tape cartridges at a nearby location; resulting in an increased risk of losing them in a location-wide catastrophe.
The first thing any company should do is decide on the data backup method that is right for their individual needs. That crucial decision will make it much easier to weigh the pros and cons of the specific method they choose.
The Cost of Offsite Backup
Your choice of method for backing up your data will also have an effect on financial decisions.
Cloud service providers require different fees for different plans. Most providers have monthly and annual plans that can also determine the cost benefits associated with each.
Disk drive and data tape storage have other expense factors associated like:
- Cost of the data storage hardware (tape storage cartridges)
- Transportation or shipping fees to an off-site location
- Overhead associated with an off-site data storage facility (rent, mortgage, utilities’, etc.)
- The cost of updating a live data copy
At the end of the day, an organization is responsible for balancing the cost and the risk associated with managing its RTO and RPO. It comes down to the size of the business, the amount of data that requires an updated back up, how often the backups need to occur, and the overall budget assigned to the backup itself.
Who Can Help?
The decisions any organization has to make when choosing on an off-site data storage solution are going depend on the size of the company and its data center, the location of both the main site and the off-site facilities, the type of storage hardware being used, and even type of data being stored.
Nevertheless, general data security, data storage, and data backup best practices are going to remain fairly constant. A business can adopt its own plan and strategy to fit its individual data requirements, but the most important thing that must remain is taking an active part in the safety of vital data.
Trusting the help of a reputable ITAD vendor makes a huge difference. There are countless security measures that a business may not think to take into account. A professional ITAD company will to ensure your data is properly secure from start to finish.
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