Cloud Backup Or Sync?

Whether your data is stored in The Cloud, on your Desktop or on your Server, you should be backing it up at least daily.

There are a myriad of backup options available on the Desktop, from Windows NT Backup to Symantec and other more advanced options.

Some are mirror image backups, some are file by file. As well as backing up we should also be testing our Restore processes to make sure our backup files are not corrupt and that we know how to restore if and when that disaster does strike!

These days, thanks to The Cloud, backing up has become more simplified and in some cases, more secure and accessible than ever.

By signing up to a Cloud based backup agency such as Livebackup.com.au or Cloudbackup.net.au, or some Dekstop providers such as McAfee, Western Digital or Symantec, you can be backing up to your very own virtual server in a matter of minutes. Should disaster strike, restoration is simply then a matter of obtaining a new PC, getting back on the Internet and signing in to your chosen service.

However, what if you need a more instant approach? What if it were free?

Lucky for consumers the Desktop to Cloud Sync market is being hotly contested at the moment mainly between Dropbox, Box and Google Drive. Depending on the service and the offer you take up on you could find yourself with up to 50GB of free storage! Now the main advantage of these services is that you can install a synching agent onto your Desktop meaning that every time that file changes, as you are working on it, the synched copy is being sent up to The Cloud!

Restoration is also extremely simple as you can login to these systems from any Desktop and even almost any mobile phone or tablet!

If you are looking for a combination of both a robust backup solution and local sync service, then something like Sugarsync might serve you best.

Which ever service you choose, please make sure you are backing up all of your important business files, including your Accounting and CRM databases, and also ensure to test your Restore methods and regularly backup your backup files for a second layer of security!

Cloudbackuping.com discuss how to choose an online backup solution here in this video.

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What To Look For In A Cloud Host

As in any IT deployment or roll out in your organisation, you should have a plan, and perform your due diligence.

Part of this plan should be to interview a minimum of three Cloud Hosts or Providers, but what should you be looking for?

Here are some tips.

1. Data Location

This is at the top of the list for a reason. The location of where your data is going to be stored is the most crucial element to this whole exercise.

Do you need access to your data if systems go offline? If the answer to that is yes, then look for a Host close by, at least within driving distance, so in the event of a major circumstance you know you can go and physically retrieve your data at any time.

If the answer to the above question is no, then you should at least be aware of where your data is, and make sure it is on home soil. Data stored in Australia is subject to stringent Privacy and Data Protection laws.

Sure it will cost more to host your data in Australia, but we have amongst the highest certified data hosts in the World.

2. Security

Secondly, enquire regarding data security. Not just who has access to your data, but how secure is the Data Centre where your virtual servers are stored.

What are the disaster recovery plans for the Data Centre (DC), what fire and hazard prevention controls are in place? Physically what level of staff and who has access to the Server Floor and Data Halls?

You could also ask the Host for a copy of their Security standards and access lists.

3. Recovery and Disaster Prevention

Further questions to ask revolve around the Recovery of data and what Disaster Prevention and even ask for a copy of their Disaster Recovery Plan. If they are serious about their role as a Cloud Host or Virtual Server Provider then they should have this information readily available for you.

Quiz your potential host on what their Fire Prevention plan is, and how quickly they could get your data back online in the case of a total meltdown.

4. Uptime Certification

As in the earlier days of the internet, Uptime SLA’s were a major selling point for the more professional ISP’s, allowing them to charge a higher fee for a higher Uptime SLA.

Your Cloud Host is no different today.

Even better, ask them what their Uptime Institute Certification level is.

5. Price

Why put price at the bottom of the list you ask?

Well for good reason. If you are serious about a business Cloud deployment, sure price is a consideration, but really, I think this point speaks for itself.

Look for a Host that fits your Budget certainly, but also one that ticks all the above boxes first.