Data Backups Could be Your Company's Most Important Decision

How to Compare Server Online Backup and Recovery Service Providers

Dear Data-Diligent Reader,

IT professionals are increasingly looking to online backup and recovery (or “cloud storage”) services when it comes to server data protection. These solutions are especially relevant for small to medium-sized businesses and for the remote offices of larger enterprises. But with all the choices today, how do you decide what is right for your company?

The factors driving interest in online backup and recovery solutions include: workforce dependency on 24×7 access to business data; price and consistency of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription model over costlier onsite options; and easier compliance with burgeoning requirements to protect distributed information (in all formats) and ensure business continuity.

The scope, strengths, and weaknesses of the various categories of online backup and recovery service provider should be evaluated in the context of the current and forward-looking requirements of corporate customers. Requirements range from full system (versus data only) backup and restore to comprehensive business continuity best practices and support. Understanding these strengths and weaknesses can help businesses clarify their server protection requirements and better align their selection criteria and focus with their business goals.

Unlike workstations and laptops, servers:

• Are usually left running, rather than frequently powered on and off, and are not mobile
• Require broader bandwidth requirements due to the volume of the data to be protected
• Store a wide variety of data types of varying importance and recovery or retention requirements

Category 1: Service Providers Leveraging Investments In Core Business Resources These service providers includes companies whose entry into online backup and recovery is driven by a desire to leverage pre-existing investments in core business resources. These include 1) business continuity and disaster recovery and 2) telecommunications vendors.

Category 2: Niche Developers and Service Providers Service providers in this category concentrate on niche solutions and market opportunities. These include:
1) “Point solution” backup and recovery services using their own software exclusively for backup and recovery and
2) Providers who use other vendors’ specialized solutions to address niche markets in specific verticals, company size, or geographic regions.

Category 3: Broader Spectrum Service Providers Like the point solution and licensed software developers, these service providers own and maintain their own software. Most obtained their backup and recovery technology through the acquisition of the original software developer, but the important point is they continue to invest in its maintenance and extension. These service providers typically offer most of the essential features for server backup and recovery.  Backup and recovery is offered as part of a broader spectrum of information management and data protection services

It is important to recognize the different categories of online backup and recovery service providers. Recognizing the basic differences in their business drivers and focus, potential resources, and core competencies is key when it comes to assessing their capabilities.  By understanding these larger business criteria, businesses can better focus and align their business goals with the right partner when it comes to online backup and recovery.

You should be able to compare the various providers against their ability to address your requirements for server backup and recovery functionality, administration and support.

We believe that that choosing a cloud storage vendor is an important decision.  Contact us to learn how we may be able to help you.

We would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below!

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