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Data is arguably the most valuable asset for any business. The reality is, however, that all computer hardware fails at some point. This could be due to accident, age or cyber security attack, but when your hardware fails it has the potential to destroy and cripple your business financially.  Having a disaster recovery plan helps you to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

While we know that there is no way to accurately predict the future, hard drive failure and malfunction can happen at any time, and with cyber-attacks on the rise it is important to make sure that your data is safe, secure and backed up in a way that can be quickly recovered in order to keep downtime to a minimum.  Backup and data recovery have evolved massively; from media-vaulted backup which used manual data recovery, to today’s secure, monitored and continuous backup methods. These new methods allow for fast data recovery. With this in mind it is important to discuss with your IT support and service provider what your exact recovery and backup needs are.

How Far Backup Has Come

 Back in the day, data backup was done with tapes; the data was copied by a machine to tape, then stored offsite at a physical location. Along with other services, IT support companies offered not only the hardware for the backup process, but also vaulting and transportation services. For many years this process didn’t change, and to this day on-site to off-site backup solutions are still used. Nowadays the backed-up data is usually stored not only to tape, but also to optical media or disk and placed in a fireproof vault off-site. In the event of a disaster to the primary site where the on-site data is stored, it is highly recommended that there be an off-site location in order to house the relevant backup information. This off-site location is called a media vault. In the past, media vaults were physical locations, which meant having to move this media to its new physical location. As time moved on data began to be backed up over low bandwidth WAN links. This meant that backup could happen at any time to an off-site location, but with storage of this data being astronomically expensive it was almost only ever available to larger businesses. As the internet and bandwidth has have evolved, backup to cloud platforms have taken over, heralding in a new generation of data recovery that is almost instantaneous have numerous options available, and are affordable to businesses of all sizes.

What Does This Mean For My Business?

 Strides technology has made in increased bandwidth, with cost effectiveness becoming a focal point and the ease at which hardware has become available, off-site backup and disaster recovery has become a necessary tool for every business to have regardless of its size. It is important to note that although these improvements have been made in order for all businesses to be able to afford backup and recovery, on-site backup alone is not sufficient when an IT disaster occurs. It is because of this that cloud-based off-site backup has become so incredibly popular. With cloud-based solutions, replacement hardware can be installed and data restored almost instantaneously.