Where Should I Backup and Store My Business Data?

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Apart from people, your most important business asset is information, or “data”. There has been widely circulated statistics issued by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency that in the event of a disaster 40% of businesses never reopen and a further 25% fail after a year. FEMA goes on to say that disaster is not just major events (of which they have a lot!) but can be a loss of premises, staff or data due to fire, flood, burglary, Virus and the like. Backup of your data is crucial to give your business the best chance to survive a disaster.  Premises and hardware can be replaced but if you permanently lose data your ability to run your business as you did before a disaster is gone. 

There are two basic concepts: 

a. The 3-2-1 backup principle 

b. Plan for a total disaster and give yourself the best chance of full recovery 

The 3-2-1 principle  

Keep at least 3 copies of your data, 2 of which may be local but on different devices and at least 1 copy offsite in the event of a total disaster. This principle can be applied not only to data on a server but also data on laptops that users may have. 

The primary copy of data is on your hard drive (or in a server multiple hard drives). The second copy is held on separate local storage and includes the ability to store multiple copies. This lets you reach back in time to recover a file that has been accidentally, or maliciously, deleted. The third copy (held offsite) may be on physical disks you take offsite or, better yet, stored, checked and managed by us in a secure offsite location. We keep a number of offsite copies for additional protection against data corruption, but the ideal is the offsite copy is the most recent copy of the data you need to run your business. 

Plan for a total disaster 

It is all very well taking individual files offsite in case you lose one, and that is exactly what was done several years ago (anyone remember tape backups?).  For Servers we have used Image backups for years now, which not only protect your files but in addition take an entire copy of your Server environment.  In the event of a disaster, the time taken to recover your server and data can be reduced from a week of hard work to under a day as Image backups include all the work we have put into setting up your Server and it is well worth saving that cost and time in a disaster. 


I hope this gives you a basic understanding of some of the tools you can use to back up your data. Backup plans are unique in the way that they can be customized for each business or individual. So, should you have any questions or want to learn more about how you can keep your data safe, get in touch with our highly experienced sales team.


Chris Barnes and Parth Deshpandey

Malcom Dale, Director
"You can really rely on Think I.T. The whole team is responsive and proactive. For us, they are not just a technology provider but also our expert advisers, giving us professional, informed advice even where the best solutions aren't necessarily in their own interests."

Malcom Dale, Director
gardyneHOLT design partners
10-20 users, Think I.T client since 2000

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