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What you need to know about online data backup services in Sacramento
In the old days, taking a data backup meant copying your production data to a physical storage device. Now, there are online data backup services. These operate on the same underlying principles, but there are some practical differences. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about online data backup services in Sacramento.
The 3-2-1 strategy still holds good
For years now, IT professionals have aimed to have three copies of data (including the production copy), over two media with one copy being kept off-site. The modern twist on this is that you replace two physical storage devices with two clouds, one of which is your main cloud and the other of which functions as an off-site storage location for your data backups. It may also function as a complete disaster recovery solution.
You can generally use a public cloud for online data backups, even for sensitive data
As a rule of thumb, you can use a public cloud to hold online data backups, provided that you encrypt them on your own servers first and keep them encrypted until they are either used (for restoration) or deleted. You may or may not be able to use a public cloud as a complete disaster recovery solution.
In short, the mainstream public cloud platforms are increasingly likely to be compliant with data privacy laws (including international ones such as GDPR) and the major compliance programs such as PCI/DSS. This means that it’s increasingly likely that even companies in regulated industries could use a public cloud as their main platform if they so wished. While this might still be a step too far for many companies, using the public cloud for short periods, such as in a disaster-recovery situation, might be a viable, and very cost-effective, option.
You should usually take your own online data backups even if you’re in the public cloud
If you’re in the public cloud, you may be tempted to rely solely on the automated online data backups offered by many public cloud vendors. While this is understandable, especially since, for many SMBs, one of the major attractions of the public cloud is its simplicity, it is also very risky.
The main reason why it is risky is that public cloud providers only protect their clients (or “tenants”) against external threats. In other words, they secure their own platform, not each tenant’s use of it. This means that if a tenant’s access is misused, either accidentally or through malice, and their data is deleted, that is the tenant’s problem, not the cloud provider’s problem.
The second reason is that even though the mainstream cloud providers have an excellent track record of keeping their platforms running, nothing is guaranteed. It can, therefore, be reassuring to know that you have a Plan B which you can activate at any time. Although an online data backup is not a complete disaster recovery solution, it does lay the foundations for one and if you’re already in a public cloud, it will probably be relatively straightforward to add the extra elements necessary to create a full disaster recovery solution (for example an operating system and applications).
Minimizing the amount of data you hold in production will go a long way to minimizing costs
A data backup is a snapshot of the data in your production system. Keeping that data to a minimum will also keep online data backup costs to a minimum. The less data you collect, the less data you will need to back up (and the less data you will need to protect from security risks). You are probably already legally mandated to collect sensitive data on the basis of need (and if you’re not it’s a good practice to follow in any case) and it is strongly recommended to extend this practice to all data to avoid clogging up your systems with irrelevant data items.
You also want to make sure that your data is clean as this is the most effective way to avoid accumulating both duplicates and random data items without any obvious purpose. This can be achieved by taking control of your data-entry systems and using standardized input methods and data validation to guide people to enter data correctly.
Last but definitely not least, you need a process to remove dormant data quickly. If it needs to be kept (e.g. for compliance) then it needs to go into a data archive. Data archives use much slower storage and are therefore more economical to run.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced online data backup services provider in Sacramento, please click here now to contact Salient IT.