World Backup Day 2017: The best ways to backup your business

The 31st March marks World Backup Day – an annual event that reminds us of the importance of backing up our data. Now backup may not be the most exciting of IT needs, but it is an essential one – you might be surprised to hear that 80 per cent of companies that suffer a data disaster shut down within a year if they don’t have backup in place. Backup is undoubtedly integral to a healthy business infrastructure. Without it, a business may struggle to get up and running after a data incident or disaster. And so, to mark this year’s World Backup Day, we have gathered insights from six industry pros to explain why and how you need to backup company data.  

Gary Quinn, CEO at FalconStor on the need for flexible backup solutions

“World Backup Day reminds us that many organisations still don’t have the right backup strategy in place to deal with the broad range of risks and threats they face in the digital economy. While the general importance of backups is accepted by most, the practicalities of quickly recovering lost data to resume normal business operations still only occurs to many when they are facing a crisis. But, flexible backup solutions can automate complex recovery processes to ensure data can be recovered before business operations are impacted, while snapshot technology can reduce or eliminate backup windows and recover data to any point.”

Jason Howells, EMEA Director, MSP Solutions Business at Barracuda Networks on backup to protect against ransomware attacks

“With ransomware now running rampant, initiatives like World Backup Day are a great way to highlight the importance of backing up. Although worrying, ransomware is at least helping to expose IT weaknesses and the extent to which small businesses manage their data in a cavalier manner. Backup and recovery may not have always been the sexiest of IT topics, but thanks to the rise of ransomware it is now one of the hottest. That’s because the single most effective defence against ransomware is an ability to recover an organisation’s data from another data source. Without backups in place, the majority of businesses simply wind up paying the ransom to recover their data. It’s not like these backup and disaster recovery technologies haven’t been around for a long time, it’s just that it has been hard to get businesses to focus on data protection until now. Thankfully, business owners are starting to see that having a disaster recovery service in place could make the difference between a minor nuisance and a total catastrophe.”

Hubert Da Costa, VP EMEA at Cradlepoint on having a backup plan for your network

“We are all familiar with the need to back up our data, but often a back up plan for the network is given less thought. No wired connection can deliver 100 per cent uptime. The question is not whether your business will lose Internet connectivity, it’s when. So how do you protect your organisation from loss and disruption when it happens? When your wired Internet connectivity experiences a service disruption (in some areas this happens several times a month) your business is exposed to risks of lost revenue, productivity and customer experience issues. 

Upgrading to a more robust wired connection is one possible solution – but it’s expensive and is still susceptible to outages and service disruption. An alternative option is to bridge the inevitable gap with wireless WAN failover. This option is quick and easy to deploy. Ultimately when network connections fail, there will be a loss of productivity, brand credibility and revenue. In my experience, there are few businesses that can afford to take that risk.”

Marianne Calder, VP & MD for EMEA at Puppet on backup for application data

“Historically, backups have always been the worst of an administrator’s responsibilities. Vital to a business but tedious, error prone, repetitive and labour intensive. But a server or VM has so many layers to be protected and can be difficult to reproduce manually. A backup management tool with a strong focus on automation means application data is never forgotten. Automation makes it possible to replicate any host at any time, removing the need to backup the entire host. Saving time, but ensuring protection from a catastrophic failure. World Backup Day is a good reminder for our users of the time and infrastructure saved by not having to manage things manually; they rest easy knowing the data is secure and protected from unknown risks and external threats."

 Jake Madders, Director at Hyve Managed Hosting on backup in the cloud

“As the cloud continues to permeate business practices in numerous ways and companies are enjoying the flexibility and scalability that it brings, one thing that the cloud enables that often gets left out of the headlines is backup. No longer do companies have to worry about having the physical space to establish a backup location for data, using cloud servers and storage enables offsite backups that are protected from many issues that can arise on-premises. Company data is one of the most valuable parts of a business, but unfortunately loss of or damage to data can happen at any time. Investing in backup and replication from the production environment to a secure cloud computing environment should be a priority for every business. World Backup Day serves as a reminder that if it isn’t backed up, there is a huge opportunity for loss and that can have serious business repercussions.”

David Griffiths, VP of EMEA at Tintri on the need to guarantee availability

“Data loss and disruption happens far too often in the enterprise. Research by Ponemon in 2016 estimates the average cost of an unplanned outage has spiralled to nearly $9,000 a minute, causing crippling downtime as well as financial and reputational damage. Legacy backups simply aren't equipped to provide seamless operations, with zero Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) should a disaster strike. In order to guarantee the availability of applications, synchronous replication with real-time analytics needs to be simple to setup, monitor and manage for application owners and economical to the organisation. That way, the concept of making zero data loss attainable suddenly becomes a reality.”

Image source: Shutterstock/scyther5