Onsite vs. Offsite Backups Do you need both?
Whatever type of business you're in, you will have crucial information stored in your infrastructure. That means you need to back up your data in case something goes wrong—because losing all the information on your servers and desktops could potentially cripple your business. It’s always a good practice to have a backup and disaster recovery plan in place to ensure business continuity. Your insurance policy may also require that you have a plan in place.
The two main categories of data backup are onsite and offsite storage. Which one is right for your business...or should you have both?
Onsite backup: Your data on hand
As the name suggests, onsite backups are kept at your place of business. There are a number of different systems that can be used, including external hard drives, tape drives, USB drives, and network attached storage (NAS) drives.
The backup system you use will probably depend on the amount of data you need to be able to backup and recover. Most small and mid-sized businesses invest in external or removal disk drives for their on-site backup. They generally have software such as Symantec Backup Exec that manages their backup policies. Typically they perform a daily incremental backup, full weekly and monthly backup.
With proper onsite backup, you can recover from data loss due to intentional or unintentional deletion, viruses, and hardware failure, with minimal downtime. However, there are other circumstances leading to data loss that onsite backups can't reverse.
Offsite backup: Covering your assets
Storing backup copies of your data offsite supplements your onsite storage program and provides excellent insurance in the event of a disaster. Offsite storage systems typically involve either creating backups on physical drives and storing them in another location, or investing in an online or third-party backup service.
Most businesses will benefit more from online and third-party offsite backup systems. This way, your backup data is always kept current, without you having to constantly bring in your offsite physical drives to update them. Online backup systems are also more cost-effective. Many IT service providers offer comprehensive data backup and disaster recovery services at highly affordable rates.
Offsite backups will prevent data loss due to power failure, theft, and natural disasters, in addition to the factors covered by onsite backup systems.
Which backup system should you choose?
A combination of both onsite and offsite backup is the most effective way to avoid the potentially crippling effects of data loss. For the safety and security of your business, we recommend implementing a system that uses elements of both methods.