Online Backup: How Does It WorkIs It Really Better Than Tape?

By: Andrew Stratton

Once they understand how it works, many small to medium-sized business owners eagerly accept their IT manager’s suggestion to move their data storage system to the services of a web-based storage provider.? The reason why is simple: compared to the costs of traditional backup systems (including hardware, various media and costly, constant human interaction) the savings and benefits of an online backup system are impressive, in terms of dollars, man-hours and reliability.

Large companies usually have the IT budget necessary to pay for on-site backup systems and a full-time, 24-hour staff to handle backups and restores. However – even though their data is just as critical to success – most small businesses usually don’t have the money to pour into that kind of data storage system.? There’s hardly money for even a dedicated backup server – forget about a dedicated IT staff. The sad reality is that, most often, a small business' IT staff is so overloaded with and overwhelmed by the many, vital tasks of managing the company’s data on a daily basis that they frequently shove running backups to a back burner, just hoping they’ll get to it before disaster strikes.

There’s no worry about security of data in the hands of a reliable online data storage company, either.? When that concern is voiced, it’s almost always because the person worrying about it simply doesn’t fully understand either the technology or the process.

In fact, all stored data is encrypted before it’s moved to the internet, and the data stays encrypted until the customer him- or herself needs to access it.? Even then, only the business has the encryption key needed to release the data to view.? The level of encryption is extremely high, as well.? Online data storage companies most frequently use the same types and levels of encryption utilized by large financial institutions and the federal government.

Another plus of online data storage is the time necessary to recall whatever data is required.? Typically, recovery time for data stored online is much less than the time needed to recover from tapes, CDs or zip drives.? And with online data storage, there’s no IT personnel involved in either accessing or restoring … no time spent picking up media from an off-site storage facility and bringing it back to the office … no time spent searching for the right tape and then downloading it to a server … no human error and no salaried time wasted on the mundane (but necessary) machinations of manual data retrieval.

Considering the time, personnel and budgetary savings of using an online data storage system instead of media-oriented in-house backups, it’s no surprise that so many small to medium-sized business owners are opting for this process in lieu of their old reliance upon media-based storage.? The speed, reliability and cost-savings of online data storage so far outpace the budgetaryFeature Articles, personnel and space requirements of media-based systems that online backup is poised to replace media backups as the system of choice in today’s business world.

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