Best backup practices recommend the 3-2-1 strategy. This approach consists of three copies of the backup on two different media and one stored ‘off-site’, also known as off-prem and commonly shortened to ‘off-site’.
Off-site backups an essential part of any disaster recovery plan (DRP) for organizations of any size. Having an off-site backup solution also provides economy, flexibility, and portability. They are also a critical safety net if you lose your premises, supporting your business continuity no matter how dire the situation.
What Are Off-Site Backup Solutions?
Off-site backups are copies of your systems, files, and data saved to an external source. The backup format can be on a range of media, but what defines them is that the data is physically stored off-premise, sometimes in another country altogether.
Types of off-site backups include:
- Tape backups have long been the milieu of the enterprise. It’s common practice in the legal profession or for companies that produce massive volumes of media-rich data. The advantage of tape is that it’s good for long-term storage. But tapes are cumbersome to transport and store and difficult to back up from—and they can be destroyed or lost. The same general principles and cautions apply to backups on external drives, discs, or other external media.
- Cloud backups mirror your data to the cloud, where it is stored until you need to access it. They are among the most cost-effective, user-friendly, and highly available ways to facilitate off-site backups. Data is stored digitally in the cloud. The cloud provider handles all storage systems, security, and capacity, so there is a reduced need for IT expertise. If you were to lose your premises, restoration from your off-site cloud backup would be fast and easy.
- Hybrid cloud backups combine the benefits of local and cloud backups. While neither method is perfect on its own, together, they form a gestalt that optimizes security and minimizes risk. Data is saved to the on-premise disc and is then replicated to the cloud. Hybrid backups can also involve a remote server in another location. However, should disaster strike where the data centers are located, you might lose access to that copy as well.
Are Off-Site Backup Solutions Viable?
A range of variables is responsible for the recent growth in the popularity of off-site backups. The prevalence and increasing sophistication of cybercrime, the need for reliable data security, regulatory compliance, and the increase in remote work fueled the demand. With so many potential threats, a proactive backup strategy is essential, and that should always include off-site backups.
But are off-site backups right for all businesses?
Off-site backups are more costly than using external hard drives or removable media. But if you expect to scale quickly, maintaining adequate capacity with external drives might prove challenging. In choosing an off-site backup provider, you are outsourcing these tasks, including the infrastructure to support it, and taking a massive amount of work and worry off your plate.
And while retrieving data from where it’s stored in a remote location may not be as fast as it would be with a local drive, there is significantly less risk of data loss or corruption.
Despite the higher cost, managed off-site backups provide small businesses with the ultimate peace of mind. There is no IT learning curve, no hardware to purchase or maintain, and you’ve always got a reliable, uncorrupted, secure copy of your systems and data to restore from when needed.
Rewind is a trusted off-site backup solutions provider with the knowledge, expertise, and storage capacity to support your needs. When you consider the costs of the average data breach and what you stand to lose should disaster strike, the price of protecting yourself is the proverbial drop in the bucket.