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What you need to know about business data backup in Sacramentox
Data is crucial to the modern world of business. The bad news is that there are all kinds of ways to lose it. The good news is that this doesn’t have to matter as long as you stay on top of your business data backup strategy. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about business data backup in Sacramento.
Everything starts with a strategy
The importance of having multiple copies of essential data has been known for many years. For most of that time, however, there was very little strategy behind it. With hindsight that was completely understandable. For most of the history of IT, there hasn’t been that much data to protect, so it was often fine just to dump it onto storage media possibly with some level of organization and maybe with a password.
These days, however, companies, even SMBs, have, literally, terabytes of data. What’s more, even SMBs are likely to be dealing with sensitive data and to have compliance requirements if only for tax-related documents. They are also likely to be working in the cloud, where you pay for exactly what you use for as long as you use it. This means you have to be strategic about what data you keep and how you protect it.
Strategy starts with knowing your data
As an absolute minimum, you need to be able to identify what data is legally classed as sensitive (e.g. personal data, including the personal data of your employees) and what data is needed for compliance purposes. Treating this data the wrong way can land you in serious (read expensive) legal trouble and can cause massive damage to your hard-won reputation.
After this, you need to be able to identify dormant data and ensure that it is moved swiftly out of your production system, which is an ongoing process as most data has a life-cycle. Ideally, this dormant data should be deleted unless there is a specific reason to keep it, e.g. compliance. In the real world, however, that is not necessarily as straightforward as it sounds.
What often happens in businesses is that the finance team’s desire to manage costs and the IT team’s desire to manage systems efficiently comes up against people wanting to hold on to data “just in case” they might need it in the future. This wasn’t a big deal in data centers, because physical storage has been very affordable for many years so buying a bit (or a lot) extra was usually an acceptable expense, even for SMBs. It is, however, a big deal in the cloud where you are charged for what you use for as long as you use it.
One way to split this difference is to use the cloud for your production data, your online data backups and your proper data archive, i.e. your archive of data you know you need to keep. Then dump everything else onto a physical storage device. This may seem a rather illogical approach if you’re in the cloud, but it squares the circle of needing to manage cloud storage costs without upsetting people who want to hold on to data “just in case”.
The more you fine-tune your data management, the more you will benefit
In the old world of data-centers, fine-tuning your data management was often more hassle than it was worth. In the modern world of the cloud, however, it is not only desirable, but it can also be vital to keeping your costs under control.
As a minimum, you need to be ensuring that you are only spinning up storage you actually need and that you spin it down again as soon as it ceases to be required. This may sound like stating the obvious, but even after all these years of the cloud, it’s amazing how easy it is to overlook this, especially if you rely on people to do it manually instead of automating the process.
Ideally, you want to be using storage speeds which reflect the urgency with which the data is likely to be required. As a rule of thumb, the more you can schedule when the data is used, the more you can slow down the storage speed and vice versa.
For example, if data is used for a quarterly billing run, then it can be put into very slow storage because it can easily be requested well in advance of when it is needed. If, however, data is used to answer customer queries, then it needs to be accessible in the shortest possible time and hence put into fast storage.
If you replicate these settings in your online data backups (of which there should normally be two), then you’ll be maximizing efficiency and minimizing costs there too.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced business data backup services provider in Sacramento, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.