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Getting Acquainted With Offsite Data Backup

Aug 17, 2007
The process of copying all the relevant data on a removable or remote storage device is called a backup. The data is copied on to a storage device and stored. There are various methods of taking backup. Some of them are Full backup, Incremental Backup and Mirror Backup. This copy of the data is taken at scheduled intervals. The type of backup depends upon the type and structure of the data. The media is labeled accurately to enable fast recovery. The data can be stored on many different storage media. Some of them are magnetic tapes, diskettes, CDs, DVDs, USB Flash Memory and other solid-state devices.

Many software solutions automate the whole process of data backup. The data copying is activated at a scheduled time and the backup is stored over the Internet as an off-site data backup. If a file or set of data is damaged, a copy of the same is made available at a request.

There is a variety of software in the market that is offering off-site data backup support. The process is as follows

- Software is installed in the central server or computers as the case may be.

- Backup schedule is prepared and saved in the software module.

- As per the schedule, the software automatically takes the relevant backups of the files.

- This copy is encrypted before being transmitted.

- The encrypted copy is transmitted over a secure Internet to an off-site location where the backup is stored on disks.

- A copy of backup is also stored at a different location to ensure foolproof safety of the data.

Off-site data backup works on the assumption that the data stored at remote location is completely safe. However, it would be wise to ensure that the data is actually as safe as proclaimed. All The storage drives storing data at the remote location must have RAID5 redundancy. RAID5 ensures a hot backup in case the disk crashes. The data-striping feature ensures that the files remain physically intact and safe.

The data storage center should have adequate protection against fire. There should be controlled access to protect data from theft.
It is advisable to store the data in an underground concrete bomb shelter to prevent damage from human or natural attack.

Additionally the data should be transferred through secure SSL connections as a safeguard against someone getting an access into the data. Sometimes the secure connection is compromised for the sake of faster data transfer.

Most off-site data backup solutions are web based. It is important the interface is simple and easy to use. Availability of online Help feature makes the usage easier for first time users. A 24 x 7 customer support is an essential requirement.

These are a few features that should be kept in mind before finalizing off-site data backup software. Most of the off-site data backup software offers a limited period free trial offer. It is advisable to take advantage of this feature to try out the software. The user can arrive at a decision by actually comparing the results of a few solutions. If a vendor satisfies all these criteria, the user can rest assured that the critical data would be in safe hands.

Off-site data backup need not be restricted to offices only. It is equally relevant for the computers at home too. Having a computer at home is no more restricted to a few top echelon executives. A vast multitude of the population owns at least one computer at home. Besides, many people use laptops to carry work from home to office and back.

Home computers face a lot more threat than those in an office environment. The rules are much more lax, hence the computer is at a much more risk of being damaged. Most of the people think nothing about bringing in a cup of coffee to the computer worktable at home. Some even carry a plate of snacks along. A spill can wreck havoc on your computer and of course your data.

Hence, off-site data backup is a very convenient solution for a home computer too. There are many vendors offering solutions for such a scenario. The user just has to finalize the data-requiring backup. Based on the compressed backup size a cost effective plan for payment can be opted. So, stay secure and be sure by submitting your precious data to an off-site data backup solution provider.
About the Author
Dennis J. Cole CEO of DJ & H Unlimited with a growing collection of E-Courses and a broad spectrum of Products to suit any need.
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