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Choosing a Backup Solution

Ask most IT professionals, and they’ll tell you that managing backup is right up there with going to the dentist on their list of least favorite activities. Although backup may be tedious and time-intensive, it is a necessary part of protecting your company’s data. In fact, most companies that experience a major data loss with no emergency or backup plan are closed within two years. Many companies choose to outsource their backup functions to maximize their internal IT resources and focus on their core business, but selecting the wrong backup solution can end up causing more headaches.

Here are a few items to consider when selecting a backup solution:

Scalability. The amount of data created each year is growing exponentially. In fact, IBM estimates 90% of all data that exists in the world today has been created in the past two years alone. With all of this new information to backed up, it’s important to select a scalable solution that will support your needs today and in the long term.

Security. Backups can raise a number of security concerns. This is actually not that surprising since security measures often restrict access to data, while backup often simplifies data access to perform quick restores. To ensure your backup provider has the proper security controls in place to protect your data, check to make sure they are SSAE 16 Type II compliant. This level of compliance ensures they adhere to the stringent internal business processes and IT controls needed to protect your data.

Multiple platforms. Companies today typically use several platforms to support their business-critical applications such as Windows 2003, MySQL, MS Exchange, VMWare, Linux, etc. Managing a different backup product for each of these platforms can increase your risk of error and cost. Choose a backup solution that will support all of the platforms you employ to run your applications.

Easy to use. Even if you’re outsourcing, you or someone from your team will still need complete visibility into your backups and the ability to perform restores on-demand. Look for a solution with single pane of glass management and a self-service portal so you can access all of your backup information, create alerts, pull reports and perform restores through one easy system. Getting a demonstration of the application beforehand can help you determine if the solution is user-friendly and has all of the functions you need.

Customer Support. IT professionals are well acquainted with Murphy’s Law. Our job is to ensure that when things do go wrong, we have the tools and support needed to get back on track as soon as possible. Since data loss often occurs after hours, ensure that your service provider offers 24/7/365 support and will provide the help you need in a time-sensitive manner.

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