This page focuses on Onsite Small Business Backup Solutions (you should have robust onsite systems). If you are specifically looking for Small Business Online Backup you should go to that section.
A Computer Weekly survey of 500 small businesses in US and Europe found that 85% found the costs of maintaining robust backup systems was a burden to their company; the good news is that the ever increasing development in computing technology mean that today’s Backup Solutions for Small Business are better and more affordable than Enterprise Backup Solutions from a few years ago.
Whether you consider your business to be a Large Business, Small Business or One man Band, you need to have robust Backup hardware and software. There is no One Size Fits all solution, however many small businesses have an inadequate backup infrastructure . Indeed many individuals and home based small businesses will have a better Backup and Recovery Plan than many much larger businesses. All modern Backup and Recovery Solutions should include good onsite (inhouse) backup facilities plus some form of online backup – possibly using Cloud Backup.
Hardware and Software
This page focuses on the hardware and software you might want to consider as part of your data management plan.
External Hard Drive
With a 3tb external hard drive currently costing under $100 there is no excuse for any small business not to have one of these drives as the absolute minimum backup hardware. An External Hard Drive is usually mains powered and connected to one computer or a server on your network. You can read more on our External Hard Drive page.
RAID Backup and Storage
“Redundant Array of Independent Disks”. Originally named Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, because they housed several cheaper low capacity disks who’s total cost was less than one large high capacity dive. The array enclosure is similar to an External Drive in that they usually connect to one computer or server, however they always contain at least two (often six plus) hard drives.
Several RAID configurations are available and each configuration is known as a Level.
The data is spread across the multiple disks which offers faster writing and retrieval than from a single disk. This type of array has been very uncommon for years, due to availability of inexpensive high capacity drives, but has recently had a resurgance in the case of SSD disks where, due to cost and capacities (back to the original definition) two disks offer faster data access but are more usually used to increase capacity.
This is the minimum standard required for backup, where data is copied to at least one additional disk. So in the case of a system with two drives files are always written to both disks hence a ‘Mirror Backup’ is available at all times.
Level 0+1 (and other configurations) offers the best of both worlds offering fast file access for normal use (effectively the system main storage) while at the same time offering data redundancy across the disks. You can read about array configurations here.
NAS Backup and NAS Storage
Network Attached Storage – is really a standalone computer without a monitor or keyboard, connected to the network just like other computers, usually connected with a standard RJ11 cable, but some are connected via WiFi. A Network Attached Storage Device has its own processor memory and OS (often Linux, but fully compatible with windows and MAC) which efficiently deliver files to all networked computers without using the resources of other computers on the system. In many cases a NAS Appliance can be your file server without the need for an expensive server OS.
Though commonly used to ‘store’ data, as the name implies (great as a media server) a NAS can be configured as a backup device. A bit of a contradiction in terms, NAS Backup is only used for backup purposes, for many businesses this is a very efficient way to backup data from multiple servers or standalone computers. Read more on our NAS Backup page.
As the name implies this is a hybrid standalone device with several drives and can act as both a NAS and a RAID device, thus giving maximum delivery speed of files across the network plus offering excellent resilience. PCworld.com have some good suggestions for Small Business Backup Solutions.
In addition to having the appropriate hardware every small business needs to ensure they have suitable Small Business Backup Software.
We will be adding a Software page soon.