You’ve seen the TV ad where the man tells his wife he’s going to back up their computer. He configures the backup so quickly that he has time to go out and have an event-filled day. The wife returns, surprised to find him preparing dinner.
What they don’t tell you is the days, weeks or months it takes for the initial backup to complete. Or that for many people it never actually completes (I won’t link, but go ahead and Google it). There’s no guarantee that it will keep running reliably, nor is there any assurance that you will be able to restore your data if you ever need to. I guess this is ok if you’re backing up your recipes and vacation photos. But if you’re backing up your corporate data you should expect more.
I’m not just picking on one product. Although some are better than others, any unattended backup service can have problems.
Offered under the umbrella of IT Managed Services, managed data backups add a human element. Automated backups are great for making scheduled backups at predictable intervals. But like all software, it can fail. Maybe your backup disk is full or has a bad block. Maybe your internet connection is temporarily offline, a file is locked, or your computer was turned off during the backup window. Or maybe a software conflict caused it to shut down. Whatever the cause, gone unnoticed you can go months without a valid backup and not know. Most people don’t notice this until they lose their hard drive and discover they can’t restore it from the backup.
An IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) can provide managed backups—whether simple offsite data backups or full server virtualization—as a managed service. This means your MSP will be informed if a scheduled backup fails and will have the ability to remotely check the issue and re-run the backup if necessary. Also, if you have large amounts of data (hundreds of gigabytes or even terabytes) it can take weeks or months to initially transfer that data through your internet service. Instead, your MSP can load your data on a portable hard drive and overnight it to their data center. So your data is fully protected offsite the very next day.
Managed data backup costs a little more because of those added services. But the security of knowing your business’ data is safe makes the extra investment worthwhile. As I said in an earlier post on IT Managed Services, not all managed service providers offer all the same services. So ask your MSP if managed backup is an available option. If not, or if you don’t have an MSP, contact us. We’ll be happy to discuss the services we provide.