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Backups are a high priority for Future Link and its staff. We encourage all of our customer to have multiple backups and test them. The worst thing that can happen is you think your backups have been running great and when something happens be unable to restore the data. Unfortunate the only way to know for sure if your backup will work is to restore them and regularly review what you are backing up to make sure all the important data is backed up. There are many reason we will use a customer’s backups. There may have been a virus or power surge that corrupted the data or application, an employee accidentally deleted something they needed, or the most common is hardware failure.
There are two critical components to any backup plan. First, is full daily backups. Full daily backups allow you to restore the entire server or just the damaged parts without losing much if any data. The second, component is to get your critical data offsite. This will protect you in the case of fire, flood, theft, or natural disaster. Historically businesses used tape drives in their server to back up their data. The tape rotation standard we used for years was a business would have 3 sets of 6 tapes and the sets would be rotated weekly to an offsite location. Over time tapes wear out and with a 3 week rotation the manufacturer recommend replacing the tapes every 6 months, making the annual cost of the tape drive $2000 and up. However with the quickly increasing data sizes and unreliability of tape media tapes are becoming less popular to other offsite options. As data sizes get larger tapes get exponentially more expensive.
Every customer is a little different in their needs, data size and budget from nightly backups to full replication. As a standard we like to as a minimum standard full backups during the week with at least 2 weeks of history and a full week end backup that we have 4-6 weeks of history. Usually today these backups are running to disk either a Network Attached Storage (NAS) or USB hard disk depending on the customer needs. Disk is much faster and less expensive than tape, allowing us to backup more data and keeping costs down. There is also the added benefits that restores can happen quicker and the backups are unattended. It is inevitable with tape you have an issue the week that the person that changes the tapes is on vacation and you have no backups. Since disks are always accessible no one needs to swap tapes.
But attached disc creates a problem. How are you going to take the critical data offsite? No problem. Future Link IT offers an automated offsite backup solution. This allows us to securely backup up your data to a secure data center every night. This backup is intended to be used in the case of the server failing and the backups are gone. In this case most of the time you are going to need to get new hardware and we will reload the Operating System (OS) and all of the applications then restore your data to the new server. Since offsite backup is based on amount of data backed up there is no need to back-up the applications or OS offsite. Many of the national offsite backup companies you have seen ads may not be the best solution for a business. Either they cannot backup databases (DB) or email, or they do not keep a history. Without a history if your data is corrupted your backups will automatically backup the corrupted data and now the backup is not worth anything. Our solution is built for businesses securely backing up databases, email, Exchange, files, and more, providing a 30 day history or longer. Included in the service is also backup management. So we will make sure the backups run based on the schedule and they do not we will fix them for you automatically.