When running a small business, you need to make sure that you are taking the right steps to protect your important data. This data could be anything from customer information to key reports and anything in between that you use for day-to-day operations. The best way to ensure all your data is safe and available is to implement an effective backup, storage, and restoration policy throughout your organization.
Fortunately, you will have quite a few different options available when it comes to which technologies you want to use for your storage and backup strategy. Read more about some of the best types of technology that you can harness to make sure that your storage and backup systems are effective, easy to use, and affordable.
Standard Server Storage
If you want to keep your data backed up at your own facility, you will want to have a good storage server. You can set it up so that all of your employees are given a specific folder on the server so that they can save their files and other important information easily and access it from anywhere with a network connection.
When building out a local storage server, you will want to make sure that you are using good quality storage drives that are large enough to house all your data and fast enough to process all the requests. If you don’t need to store a massive amount of data, then choosing enterprise solid state drives (SSDs) is likely the best option. These drives are extremely fast, and built to last for years without a problem. If you do have quite a lot of data, using the large spinning disk drives that can keep multiple terabytes of data on each one.
Of course, you will want to have multiple drives within the server and use a technology such as RAID-5 to ensure your data will survive even if one of the drives fails. In general, using a local storage server with a RAID-5 configuration is going to be one of the easiest and most affordable ways for a small business to manage their data storage and backup needs.
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
If you want a slightly more advanced system that was designed specifically with backing up data in mind, consider the network attached storage (NAS) devices. You can get NAS systems in configurations that can handle any amount of data from very little to massive amounts. NAS systems are able to rapidly backup data and keep it safe until you need it, which is why they are a popular option for both small businesses and global enterprises.
Cloud Storage and Backup Solutions
One of the fastest growing backup and storage technologies out there comes in the form of cloud-based systems. As more and more technologies are moving to the cloud, it is no surprise to see that storage and backup solutions are also taking this route.
Cloud based systems are great for companies that have a lot of data to store, especially if it does not need to be accessed on a regular basis. You can either have your data uploaded to your cloud storage account in real time as it is saved, or you can run overnight jobs to upload the new data in your facility. Either way, the cloud offers virtually limitless storage availability so you can keep as much data as you need.
You do need to keep in mind that most cloud storage and backup solutions will charge you based on how much storage space you are using. This means you do want to make sure that you are using the services efficiently to avoid spending more than is necessary. Fortunately, cloud-based storage is very affordable, especially for small to mid-sized businesses that do not need massive amounts of data kept on their systems.
Windows Backup Utilities
If you are looking for the simplest and least expensive option, you may not need to look any further than the Windows operating system that you already have installed. All modern versions of Microsoft Windows come with native backup software utilities built right in. You can set up the PCs that you use in your office to automatically backup data that is saved to specific folders on the computer to a centralized location.
You can use this technology alongside the above-mentioned storage solutions to keep your data safe. If you prefer, you can also just have the Windows backup utility store the data to a thumb drive or another drive within the PC. This is not quite as secure, but it can save you a lot of money if you are just looking for a single added layer of protection from data loss.
Cold Storage Options
Most small businesses won’t need this level of storage, but it is good to be aware of. Cold storage options will take your backed up data and store it on a medium that is not actively connected to any systems. This form of ‘air gapped’ storage makes it impossible for your stored data to get infected with ransomware or other viruses after it has been written. This is a very secure option, but it does take longer to perform the backups and restorations when they are needed.
Cold storage technologies including backing up data onto a tape drive, writable CD or DVD drives, and more. These technologies are quite old compared to more modern options, but for businesses that need to be certain that their data is safe, it is a very effective choice.
Choosing Your Backup and Storage Technologies
There are a lot of different options available for data storage and backup solutions, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You won’t find a single technology that is going to be the right option for every business. In the end, the most important thing is that you have some type of storage and backup strategy in place to ensure that your data is always protected and there when you need it.