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Back Up Solutions - Does your Data Exist?

Adam Willford
Adam Willford31.03.2017

“Does your data exist” is potentially the strangest question you’ll be asked today.  

However; it’s one that today, on World Backup Day, a lot of companies should be asking themselves and their IT Support company. The premise of whether data exists or not is based on how many copies of that file there is and where it is located.  If you have a file and it’s stored on your PC/Server and that’s it – then that data doesn’t really exist.  If that hardware fails, the files becomes corrupted or deleted – that data is gone and chances are, you are not getting it back.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies have the mindset that back-ups aren’t important because they don’t deal with them.  This VERY quickly changes when there is a situation where they need something restoring, or their hardware fails and they need back-ups.  No-one quite realises how important they are, until they don’t have them and need them.

I’ll give you an example.  A year or so ago, CryptoWall was on the news everywhere as a very nasty bit of ransomware affecting both personal devices and company devices.  This Trojan horse encrypted everything on your device and in a business environment, encrypted everything on the shared drives that “patient 0” had access to.  This in most cases was the “Company Shared Folder” – essentially where most people tend to store all their data!  For this particular company, it was approximately 400GB of data (about 750 000 files and 100 000 folders).  All of this was encrypted and when opened, advised the user that they needed to pay in excess of £3000 to have their data back. 

Now luckily, they were using Vital’s Premium back-up service, Datto, and had back-ups every 15 minutes running between 7am and 6pm.  This meant that around 2pm when we were alerted to the issue, we were able to cut off the share to stop it from continuing to spread and restore from 1:30pm, about 7 minutes before the ransomware started to spread.  We then began the restore and between 2-3 hours later, all of that data was restored – the company was back up and running and had only lost 7 minutes of work.  A lot of the company users didn’t even notice anything was down – which is exactly how we like it! 

This brings me onto the various back-up solutions that exist.  I think a lot of people that look for back-up solutions get somewhat overwhelmed – there are so many companies that promise so many various features and it’s difficult to know what you want, how you want it and what protection it actually gives you!  This is where Vital can help – we have a number of solutions to match your business needs and requirements – both for local back-ups and offsite back-ups (whether these just go home with a user in their bag, or get uploaded to the cloud)

StorageCraft LogoVital have been a long time user of .  We first adopted StorageCraft as a solution over 6 years ago – ensuring that as a company are always ahead of the game and using the latest technologies – StorageCraft provided exactly this! Back when companies were still using backup tapes (and still do!), and just doing full server backups daily rather than using incremental/differential backups etc.

This instantly made Vital the company to use because we were able to cut down on hardware costs, improve the speed of back-ups and also improve the speed of restores massively.  Ultimately, this means that in a disaster recovery scenario, we can get you back up and running as quickly as possible.  What StorageCraft also does though, is allow you to have a file and back-up recovery solution as well – rather than just a “everything is on fire. We need to restore the entire server”.  This means that if a user overwrites a single file, Vital are able to restore that file from the last back-up.  Our standard is every hour, however as mentioned above – this can go down to as little as every 15 minutes.   This standard back-up solution backs up to a single USB that is constantly plugged into the server, the “on-site drive”. This then replicates to 2 x “off-site” drives that a user is responsible for on-site and takes home/swaps out daily.

This gives you potentially 4 copies of your data:

  • The actual file itself
  • The copy on the on-site drive
  • The copy on the offsite drive
  • Depending on replication, another copy on the other offsite drive (one drive will always be a day out of date)

Microsoft Azure LogoAs you work up the offerings, we begin to look at Cloud Back-ups.  As a leading company and a Gold partner with Microsoft, Azure Back-up is our preferred choice for cloud backups.  Azure Backup is a simple and cost-effective back-up solution that can be used to backup a wide range, from single directories on a PC to a fully replicated server running in the cloud. 

Cloud back-ups are becoming more and more popular due to the low cost, high availability options but it’s important to remember that both a local and offsite (whether USB or Cloud) compliment each other – you should never just have a single one of these solutions! 

The most important aspect of a cloud back-up (and really any offsite back-up) is that if your office has any disaster (fire, flooding, theft etc) – then your back-ups are still safe in a completely separate location. 

Datto LogoThen we get to Datto, Vital’s Premium back-up offering and I have to say (although I may be slightly biased) an absolutely fantastic system.  Datto leverages the StorageCraft ShadowProtect agent for both local and offsite back-ups, automating the entire process and giving us numerous options to specify exactly what you want – stopping the user from ever having to interact with their back-up solution – because it’s all done automatically via the Datto portal.  As a Datto partner, we get the added benefit of great support if there are any issues and a number of our engineers are Datto certified – ensuring that we can offer the best support and advice available to our customers. 

Below are a few quoted statistics of data back-ups:

  • “44% of data loss is caused by mistaken deletion, system crash, or software corruption.”
  • “14% of data loss happened due to virus attack.”
  • “36% of data loss is customer information and financial data.”

In 2016; only 50% of businesses are using cloud based technology for their back-ups.  Of that, less than half are utilizing hybrid cloud technology (so both local and cloud back-ups) – which offers the highest level of protection for company data and IT infrastructure.

  • “54% of companies report they have experienced downtime from a single event, lasting more than 8 hours.”
  • “1 in 3 organizations have reported being hit by a virus or a malware attack within the last 5 years.”
  • “The majority of IT professionals know that hybrid-based cloud solutions make them more confident in data recovery versus on premise only solutions. What’s more, IT professionals who utilize cloud-based technology as part of their Disaster Recovery solution, find it easy to deploy.”

Can your business really afford to not have a good back-up solution?  The amount your business loses in just a full day of being down can be astronomical.

If you’re concerned about your back-up solution, would like to know more about our offerings or are concerned about your network security – then contact Vital Technology Group and speak to our dedicated Sales team who can help you further.

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