By now you are fairly aware that your business data is king. Furthermore, you have been backing up your data and content for years. Maybe you started on tape, moved to zip drives and now use a combination of cloud and large storage devices. Like any habit, these activities may become routine. With a routine, however, comes a false sense of security in a backup regiment.

Let’s start with the basics, and some assumptions. If you have rotating offsite backups, are you doing this daily? One recent situation we discovered with a client that is very diligent in swapping drives daily is that they did not take the USB cable for the drive offsite. So, should something catastrophic happen, they could not access their admirable backup until they first located the cable specific to that drive. A very simple solution is to have an extra cable offsite at all times.

Now, how good is your backup? If you have not tried a controlled restore, then let’s face it, you really do not know if it will work. Years of backups will not help you if the data was not backed up properly. Have your IT professional test this periodically. Another concern regarding testing is downloaded software from the cloud. ITSS has witnessed users of this approach burned when the vendor goes out of businesses. Now how will your restore your files? Testing, testing and more testing of the backup is prudent.

Lastly, you may have heard a lot about backups in the cloud. Is this right for you? You already have a website on a server in the cloud. You may even have your email in the cloud, backed up by tons of redundant servers. So, why not shift everything to the cloud as there are no fires in the sky, right? The decision may not be that simple. First, consider how fast do you need to access your data? Your backup is restricted not only by the size of the internet pipe serving your company, but by the access route to your server. For example, do you need to pull down large graphics files often? A 50 mb file takes a while on most business-class internet services. The same situation affects your backup financially. The more data you are storing in the cloud (think, other servers), the more cost. Simply put, there is a threshold you need to establish between gigabytes and price/month. Somewhere in your backup strategy may be the reality of inconvenient and human-error prone daily drives (remember your routine) versus the security and automation of the cloud.

So, what do they call a cloud on the ground? Fog. If you are still foggy on the best solution for your precious company data, consult with IT Support Specialists. Together we can develop the best mix of technology and personal habits that will keep your data secure and accessible.