|Editor's intro:- What's
the impression that comes to your mind when someone mentions - online backup?
For years this segment has had a flaky image, due to the rush of get-rich-quick
dotcoms that rushed into web backup around the turn of the millenium, with
unrealistic business plans. Most of them vanished without out trace not long
Well, it's time to revise that image for 2 reasons.
Firstly, the online
backup companies which are still around are those which survived the cold
winds of recession which blew away the fly-by-night operators. Today's internet
backup companies survive and thrive because they offer sound services to real
Secondly, this type of service is now an established part
of the storage landscape and is not going to go away.
the pioneer of online backup and recovery, has been in this business since
1998. This article dispells some of the myths about internet backup from the
viewpoint of that experience.
Dispelling the Myths of Online Server Backup & Recovery
Data, Foundation of Today's Business
not only the foundation of businesses in all industries but remains a vital
irreplaceable strategic asset. This asset is threatened today more than ever,
given the increasing threat of disaster resulting from September 11th and our
recent conflicts with the Middle East. According to the U.S. Department of
Labor, 93% of companies who experience a significant data loss will be out of
business within 5 years.
As a result, data protection has become a
critical component in an organization's disaster recovery and business
continuity plans. Today's disaster planning professionals are responsible for
ensuring uninterrupted operation and immediate recovery of data. Faced with
increasingly narrow recovery windows and "zero tolerance" for
disruption they will have no choice but to look outside the box for recovery
solutions. The ability of traditional disaster recovery and business solutions
to fulfill corporate objectives in the overall business continuity scheme should
be evaluated and a new methodology introduced.
With its ability to
most quickly and efficiently perform backup and recovery, online backup is
responding to the demands of today's businesses in these uncertain times. Its
no wonder a technology that used to be seen as unconventional and experimental,
is quickly becoming mainstream. IDC estimates that through 2006, rapid growth
will continue in the area of remote backup.
Lawyer's Weekly, the
nation's top source of legal information for practicing attorneys, has used
online backup for years to protect their data. "My feeling is that you're
only as good as your last backup. Our company has many remote locations without
systems administrators. As a result, we really have come to depend on online
backup as a means of assuring that our backups are done on a daily basis at
these sites," said Tom Bannister, Systems Manager, Lawyer's Weekly.
Data Management Evolves
Remarkable changes in
the way businesses work, are being fueled by online and other electronic
processes going on 24 hours a day. Business processes are becoming more
compressed, and business activities that took days now happen within hours or
minutes globally. Companies without a strong foothold in technology will be
disadvantaged when facing the evolutionary trend of business changes. Disaster
recovery and business continuity planning must change to coincide with the
fast-paced and highly competitive business environment and offer protection
against uncontrollable looming disasters. Continuity Planners must turn to
solutions that are internet-based.
Slammer virus, in January 2003, was a prime example of why contingency
planning must change to keep up with technology-dependant businesses. Although
SQL Slammer's effect could have carried a more damaging payload, it brought down
13,000 ATM machines at Bank of America, making it impossible for customers to
withdraw cash for an entire weekend and reportedly caused widespread damage at
HP and even Microsoft itself. The disaster recovery and business continuity
planning industry was forced to take notice.
Myths About Online
Whenever an innovative idea threatens to replace current
solutions in day-to-day business practices, myths begin to sprout like weeds
spotting your favorite golfing green. The uncomfortable reality is that many
businesses today suffer from insufficient backup plans. Data backup is critical
for every company. Remember the last time you didn't suffer from backup
headaches? You can't.
A new solution entered the market in the mid 80's
but didn't launch until the World Wide Web phenomenon took off. Only then did
it catch the attention of IT professionals responsible for safeguarding
mission-critical data. Online backup or electronic vaulting, no matter the
coined term, eliminates many typical backup headaches. The ability to automate
your backup and remove the data off-site to a secure vault with a click of a
mouse button is now a reality. Online backup is the most innovative,
cost-effective and reliable solution out there today. But dispelling the myths
about online backup continues to be a challenge for companies offering this
About the Author
Stoddard has over 20 years of
experience in the data protection and
storage industry and is the founder
of AmeriVault Corp., the pioneer
online server backup and recovery
Myth One: Online backup is too expensive.
Initially it may
appear that way. Compare a tape scenario for instance. Hardware, software
licenses, tapes, personnel - and let us not forget basic human error, add to the
cost of traditional back up procedures. Additional costs accrue with
traditional off-site courier service and tape solutions have large up-front and
sometimes unexpected costs, while online backup costs are declining. AmeriVault
Corp. predicts a double-digit annual decrease in cost due to bandwidth and
storage hardware pricing declines.
A small ten gigabyte user with
daily backup would pay approximately $460 / month for traditional albeit partial
service; while the same user would pay approximately $294 / month for complete,
automated service. In addition, online backup technology utilizes a company's
existing telecom lines. A company can better justify the 24 x 7 cost of its
dedicated Internet connection. Online backup eliminates all these traditional
cost factors. With total automation, local backup and off-site protection occur
Myth Two: Data is not secure on the Internet.
utilizes the same technology the U.S. Government uses for its security.
Encrypted, fragmented data is sent over telecom lines - pieces of a puzzle in
gibberish language. Online backup vendors can offers clients a highly secure
VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection. This higher level of security ensures
that all communication between the client and the vault is encrypted. Online
backup is actually more secure than storing unencrypted data tapes in a remote
Myth Three: Online Backup can't handle a fortune 500
Handling large amounts of data over relatively
small bandwidth is a popular feature of online backup. An initial backup or "seed"
of the server's data is extracted. The Delta Processing technology then seeks
out updated portions of changed files. Only the fragmented change of data is
sent to the vault. Large-volume and highly redundant disk storage systems store
the data online. Online backup providers service businesses with a
responsibility to ensure that storage space is always available, no matter what
the size. To further data integrity, reliability and recovery, the massive
amounts of data online are backed up to tape on a daily basis, and shipped to an
underground vault for safekeeping.
An Inevitable Evolution
the current myths surrounding online backup, unavoidably it is fast becoming the
standard in the business of data backup storage. Online backup has proven
itself to be a fundamental component of disaster recovery and business
continuity plans. Traditional recovery solutions must be retailored to
accommodate the new recovery and continuity alternatives available to businesses
in this fast-paced and uncertain climate. No longer can businesses rely on
protecting their most important asset with inefficient methods.
data and disasters are inevitable, and so is online backup. The Internet has
radically altered the global economy, and with it, the management of securing
and restoring data. Companies who wait until disaster strikes to implement more
efficient means of backing up their valuable data, will become extinct like the
dinosaurs who once roamed our planet.