Data backup is the key to enterprise success
Most organisations and individuals have a good understanding of the importance of backing up their most precious commodity: data. For an individual, the primary motive for using the cloud is to archive emails, photos and other personal documents. A business will instead look to the cloud as a strong option if the sheer volume of data currently being collected threatens to overcome it. It also works as another safe backup option, in case the first one fails.
Most backup approaches feel outdated. The various options for backing up data via external hard drives, either HDD mechanical devices or newer SDD devices, are often inconvenient to manage and puts data at risk of corruption/failure. Data centres represent excellent cloud points to back up data instantaneously, as well as provide multiple power and computing redundancies to ensure that data is always obtainable, even when experiencing hardware failure. This is a crucial part of day-to-day business activity, as losing even a small fraction of data for a brief period could turn into a real disaster – especially with GDPR regulations in place. Although faulty hardware or lost devices can always be replaced, the value that data represents, including confidential work (legal, medical, educational, etc.) or crucial CCTV footage, is irreplaceable. In our increasingly digitalised world, understanding the best practices and measures that businesses can take to look after their data is more important than ever.
At Aruba we have conducted our own research and noticed a sharp rise in the demand for cloud services from companies looking to secure business continuity during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the global lockdown various sectors relied on cloud and data centre services to achieve a strong and reliable infrastructure to support the surge in demand from employees and customers. Now, as the lockdown slowly lifts, in parts around the world, businesses are adapting to new innovative ways of working. What we are finding is that those that have problems achieving the level of IT service they desire, require reliable, end-to-end backup infrastructure solutions that can be managed remotely, ensuring that services can operate 24/7. This sharp demand in services are the perfect example for why the most successful companies are prioritising the right backup strategies!
Cloud is the foundation for all data backup
At its foundation, backing up data on cloud enables organisations to retrieve a copy of their data to another location via a data centre. This data can be easily restored if it is compromised to ensure business continuity. Cloud servers are housed in warehouses offsite and are often heavily guarded, protected from local weather disturbances, outages, and other potential IT crises. The data is also encrypted, making it difficult for any malware attacks or hacking to penetrate its defences. Most businesses today rely on 24/7 continuation of services, and having a system in place that protects you from potential disruptions is a great advantage.
The data hosted on these machines is also protected by disaster recovery systems capable of coping with any type of destructive event. This is even more important in this era of GDPR, where regulatory compliance and increasing attention to privacy and data protection make it crucial to be able to count on a data storage system that is flexible and integrated into existing systems. The focus is on implementing retention effectively in the cloud, making sure that breach notification obligations and protocols are included in data processing agreements with cloud providers and several other clauses including data ownership, risk management and privacy security.
Carrying out consistent and efficient data backups, either on a physical tape copy stored in a remote location or on a local network service such as a private FTP minimises the chance of losing data in a force majeure situation. Although a network backup serves to replicate and restore networked services when a primary network is unavailable, such as in the case of a natural disaster, its implementation should also be a way to protect information. This is a high priority measure for those businesses dealing in critical data, such as government institutions, where security is of paramount importance.
Ensuring smooth running of operations
Deploying a cloud backup strategy enables employees and other business stakeholders to easily run apps and access data files through an online backup service that stores data on physical servers within a data centre. This is a popular option for enterprises to consider, as online backup via cloud encrypts and synchronises files in real-time on the servers of the data centre hosting the service. This ensures that there is always a copy of that data in the cloud – easily accessible and safe.
The scalability of the cloud also offers quick solutions to transfer and save data on a remote server. Benefits include ease of browsing files and the ability to modify them from anywhere in the world, without limitations of compatibility with software or operating systems. There are also software programs that can automatically perform regular backups on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis, thus reducing user intervention to a minimum and minimising bandwidth usage so as not to interfere with other daily operations. This fully automated and easy to use backup strategy means that services can continue to function, whilst eliminating the need for manual intervention and freeing up employees to deal with other core functions of the business.
Locking in on the right strategy for your needs
Although businesses have many things to think about now, the preservation and archival of data should always be front of mind. The good news is that automating backups into the cloud or on storage options on site is simple to set up and comparatively inexpensive to manage. It is important that enterprises have a good grasp of how to do this, as well as being aware of the latest technologies out there.
Businesses of all sizes should ensure that they have an efficient backup setup and a consistent recovery test program to prevent data loss. It is crucial that the leaders of these organisations make this a business priority. Even those that already have backups in place can always look to make them more secure and more comprehensive – continuous improvement is vital in today’s fast-paced world. The others that have yet to do so, should mitigate against the various risks out there and prioritise finding a solution before disaster strikes.
Courtesy of Aruba
Gabriele Sposato is the Chief Marketing Officer at Aruba, one of Italy's leading data centre and web hosting companies.