A Guide to Selecting the Proper Backup Solution
File Sync or Dedicated Backup Service?
We frequently talk about Backups, Data Recovery, and the overall importance of a Disaster Recovery Plan. The reason? When a business experiences data loss, their production comes to a stop, and as soon as data is lost, the cost of being down goes up every minute. Our goal is to provide you with the resources and information you need to prepare for the worst. This leads us to the all-important backups. We want to help you determine the best solution specifically for your organization; one that doesn’t break the bank or come up short on the features you need to stay productive.
File Sync or Dedicated Backup? Let’s Find Out!
Both business-grade file sync systems and the more traditional dedicated backup services often have overlapping features and functionality when it comes to protecting your data. While the traditional course or dedicated backups may be a safe bet, it may or may not be the best solution for your organization’s needs.
Traditional backup systems will certainly hold true for companies that need every bit of data to be recoverable, this is the industry standard. However, many companies have a workforce that operates out in the field or in multiple locations. For these companies, a file sync solution may be the best bet for those who need real time syncing of data, access from anywhere in the field, collaboration, and the ability to backup productivity files in the cloud.
Best Backup Solution Questionnaire
What devices does your team use and what kind of files do you want backed up?
A business-grade file sync solution has the ability to not only backup files that your team uses everyday: documents, spreadsheets, and images/multimedia but also files stored in local directories, like “My Documents”, “Desktop”, etc.
A dedicated backup service can save every piece of your data stored on local systems, network devices, mapped drives, and server application files (i.e., SQL databases). If your entire system failed, you would not be able to restore the system completely from a file sync solution.
Does your team work from the same office?
File sync solutions are able to provide file sharing and collaboration if your team is disbursed and does not share an office space. This will allow your workforce to sync and share productivity files without worrying about email size limits, multiple versions of the same document out in the field, and all of your files will be backed up in the cloud. Mind you, dedicated backup solutions are much more robust, however they are most effective when the majority of your team works in a single office.
How much control do you need over when and how backups run?
With a dedicated backup solution, you’re able to control what data you back up, when it backs up, and where you store your data. With a business-grade file sync, there is no scheduling for your backups, as they happen in real time. Their short fall is that there is no way to back up server application “open files” or system files to completely restore your system in the event of a failure.
For organizations that need complete control over backups, the best choice goes to the dedicated backup solution, on the other hand if you do not care about the control so long as you have your everyday productivity files safely backed up, then a file sync solution may work best for your company.
Do you need granular restoration?
Granular restoration is fancy terminology for highly detailed and specific file restoration. With File sync, you can restore important productivity files and even access previous versions or previously deleted files through a web portal. Other restoration options include: restoring individual files or folders and perform point-in-time restores to reach a file from a specific date.
A dedicated file backup solution, however, can not only granularly restore files, but you can also search for them and even restore exchange files, which may be vital to your business.
Do you require advanced alerting, reporting, and monitoring for your backups?
File sync solutions do not allow for many monitoring features, such as alerts if backups do not complete successfully. They do, however, have a web portal that will show you which files are being backed up, and how much space each item takes up.
If you run servers or host any of your software in house, than the necessity of backing up these files is paramount to minimizing down time. Dedicated backup solutions allow for comprehensive monitoring, alerts, and give administrators more ability to decide where, how and when your backups take place.
”The process of ensuring that computer files in two or more locations are updated via certain rules.”
Common Features & Benefits:
Dropbox would be a perfect example of a File Synchronization product. These products save time from having to copy complete files over each time you need to share them; they also commonly include the following features:
- Encryption across two locations for secure communication
- Compressing data that is sent across a network
- Conflict Detection to prevent overwriting files or data loss. (the ability to save different versions that have been saved for a specific file)
- Open File Support – maintains data integrity when copying files that are in use
- Preview Changes before finalized
- Sync Folder & Location Directories (My Documents, Pictures, Desktop, Etc.) back up features.
The biggest security risk with File Sync comes from allowing corporate information to spread to unmanaged devices and cloud services, which often end up in employee’s personal accounts. ("The Risk of Employees Using Personal Cloud Sharing Solutions".)
While a dedicated backup solution could be on your server in house, we will put a focus on remote backup solutions that are stored off site. If you have a server in house, by default, you should setup automatic backups. ((Don’t have backups locally? Contact us today!)
A remote, online, or managed backup service, sometimes marketing as cloud backup or backup-as-a-service, provides users with a system for the backup, storage, and recovery of computer files. Such services fall under “cloud computing”.
Common Features & BenefitsCommon features for business users include:
- Bulk Restore from a portable storage device rather than over the internet.
- Centralized management console for IT professionals to monitor backups
- File retention policies for different groups of people inside your company.
- Redundancy to ensure your backups are secure and in multiple locations.
- Regulatory compliance for storing data in industries who must follow government regulations. (HIPAA, PCI, ITAR, FERPA and others)
- Ability to send a first backup on a portable storage device (external hard drive or similar)
- Ability to back up any type of file and see multiple versions from previous edits.