Why Every Office Needs Onsite and Offsite Backups

December 8th, 2017
Why Every Office Needs Onsite and Offsite Backups

Regardless of its size and scope, every business needs a robust data backup and disaster recovery system in place. That means implementing measures to ensure that all business data is kept safe through an unexpected disaster and, just as importantly, is readily accessible for when it needs to be recovered.

When it comes to backup and disaster recovery, organizations are basically faced with two choices – onsite and offsite backups. Onsite backups refer to data stored on devices in your office, such as network-attached hard drives and tape backups. Remote backups are saved over the internet and reside on a remote server.

While organizations of all types and sizes are moving towards cloud computing environments with applications hosted on the internet, both onsite and offsite backups remain important in the workplace. Both offer their benefits and drawbacks, and ideally Orange County businesses should incorporate both into their disaster recovery strategies.

An Introduction to On-Site Backup

Before the internet, all backups were created on-site, although businesses would usually also store copies of their data in other physical locations for obvious reasons. However, keeping a backup copy of your data in the office does still offer important advantages, such as faster access to data and easier restoration.

In the business world, the most common devices used for creating onsite backups are magnetic tape drives. Although data storage capacities are now in the order of terabytes (1,000 gigabytes), the underlying technology has remained largely unchanged since the ‘60s. Nonetheless, tape drives are still common for onsite backups in data centers.

Using tape drives for backups tends to be quite impractical in typical small business environments, since it requires expensive additional hardware and a lot of extra work to create the backups. Far more suitable in most cases are network-attached or even direct-attached storage devices with automated file synchronization software.

For most small businesses, a network-attached storage (NAS) system is ideal, since it connects directly to the router and operates independently of any computer on the network. These systems also support data redundancy and can automatically synchronize folders on other devices connected to the network.

The obvious drawback of onsite backup is that it’s stored in your office, which makes it vulnerable to physical damage. Nonetheless, the convenience of having a backup that’s readily accessible does allow you to recover data quickly without having to rely on your internet connection.

Remote Backup – Your Next Line of Defense

We’ve already discussed how the benefits of on-site data storage form an important part of any disaster recovery plan, but it bears repeating. Relying solely on in-house systems is a recipe for trouble, and that’s why every organization should also incorporate a remote backup solution into their business continuity planning.

Because data centers tend to be housed in highly secure and cutting-edge facilities, remote storage is practically impervious to damage. Additionally, most online storage providers keep redundant copies of data in multiple physical locations, most of which are undisclosed to the public.

Modern remote backup services are accessed, monitored and controlled through the cloud, which also makes them especially convenient. With a cloud-based backup service, your employees will be able to access the apps and data they need to do their work no matter where they are.

Another important benefit of cloud backup services is that they are fully scalable. In other words, you pay only for the services and storage space you need. There’s no need to invest in any additional hardware or physical storage space should your business face a sudden increase in demand.

If you’re looking for a dependable solution for securing your most valuable assets, give OC-IT a call today, and find out how we can keep your data safe.