Blog / Hot Potato!

It’s easy to understand the reluctance to deal with backups.  They hold no immediate value in the corporate day-to-day operations, they over-complicate and slow down IT systems, they’re finicky – requiring constant attention, and no one wants the responsibility of holding onto the backup data. It really is an IT Hot Potato. This backup potato often gets passed from the person responsible for IT in a corporate environment, to a well-meaning clerk, to the IT provider, back to the clerk, and so on. The more data the organization has, the hotter the potato gets.

Most modern backup systems store large amounts of data in images.  Images are digital snapshots of the hard drives of a server; it’s more than just data files. The idea is that when a server needs to be restored, the image provides a copy of the server just as it was at the time of backup – with all of the settings and configurations intact. It’s easy to see why backup images can be 10s or 100s of gigabytes in size. And most likely, there are several servers in an organization to backup.

One of the primary issues with backups is what to do with the media that stores the images.  Media is often a portable hard drive or specialized hard-drive cartridge that is swapped out every day. Media needs to be removed from the server and stored offsite.  Thus, if something happens to the facility that hosts the server, the corporate data is safe – it just needs to be restored onto new hardware.

And so the question is where to store the media that is safe and secure. Over many years, we have seen the sublime (dual safety deposit boxes in banks located across town), to the ridiculous (the receptionist’s purse; or worse – on top of the server). It’s a problem that most organizations struggle with.

Enter Cloud Backup. A few years ago with the advent of Internet-based storage servers and some magic software, there appeared online services that promised the ability to automate the backup process to the Cloud. These services promised almost unlimited storage for very low cost – and best of all, you didn’t have to manage the media as the images were all sitting on a server on the Internet.

As with most startup ideas, the promises were great; the actual implementation – much less so. More than one organization lost their corporate brain-trust to Cloud backups that weren’t able to restore images at the critical moment. There was also the question of where backups were actually stored and who had copies of it. Many Cloud providers have facilities located all over the world and they regularly copy data from one location to another.

Well, the mist is clearing and Cloud Backup is finally becoming a viable alternative for organizations large and small. The backup software is more robust, the storage is predictable, the location is known, and whole process can now be properly managed. It is proven, reliable, fast, and secure.

All the essential elements you need to toss that Hot Potato into the air and never have it come down.


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