As an OutSourced IT provider, one of our primary areas of technology we cover with our clients is data backup and recovery. While you most likely (and hopefully!) have a solution currently in place, there are constantly new products and technologies coming to market.

“With the myriad of backup products available, how do we determine which solution is best?”

With the myriad of products available these days, how do we determine which solution is best for our clients? There is no such thing as a backup and recovery strategy that fits best for every business; instead, the best data solution for a company is determined by the type, amount, and importance of said data. Below, I’ve detailed some of the areas we will look at when consulting a business on their backup and recovery plan.

Importance of Data
This category can be further broken down into how much control and complexity a business requires in their backup and recovery solution. More and more industries use data in a manner that is absolutely critical for their operation (for example, a medical office and their Electronic Health Record system); other businesses may be able to survive a day or two without using their IT systems. These two situations differ greatly in their needs for not only a backup solution, but also in their recovery solution.

The medical office, for instance, needs to be able to recover their data immediately in the event of an IT outage. For every minute the data is inaccessible, the business is at a standstill – unable to operate and leaving their employees without anything to do. Due to the importance of this data, a more complex backup and recovery solution is required that will allow the medical office to be back online in the shortest amount of time.

Amount of Data
With both on and off-premise backups, solutions must be sized out according to the current and future needs of the business. With off-premise backups, storage is more expensive for large quantities of data. Considerations also must be taken into account for streaming speeds, data increases, and network limitations. On-premise backup systems utilize local hardware, which uses fixed storage amounts. A large increase in data can require an upgrade in hardware – and the associated costs.

Data quantities can also affect the ability for data recovery, which is an important consideration for both on and offsite solutions. For example, if you suddenly need to recover a 500GB database in order to get your systems back up – you better hope you’re not relying on streaming that over your internet connection!

Type of Data
The type of data matters, as different types of business place their value in different software and hardware solutions. Many industries utilize software that is based on more complex database structures, such as Microsoft SQL. For both local and off-site solutions, these complex databases require more specific solutions than your normal file/folder backup/recovery software.

These are just a few of the areas we look at when consulting with clients on their specific data needs. This consulting process is very involved as we examine the needs for each data set a company uses – as a result, we employ a handful of hardware and software solutions to ensure our customers are fully protected.

Contact ISM today to discuss your backup and recovery needs!