Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Cost of Replacing Data Vs Using Online Backup

According to a 2003 study at Pepperdine University in California, data losses cost American businesses a staggering $18,000,000,000. With the increasing use of more vulnerable laptops, and the concentration of data on multi-gigabyte hard drives that figure is probably higher today. Businesses worldwide are losing vast amounts of money each year due to hard drive crashes, disasters like fire of flood, and theft of or damage to a portable device. Even the data stored on a smartphone can be significant.
In another US survey, 69 percent of the computer savvy business people who were polled reported that they had lost data due to a disaster, viruses, hardware failure and, yes, accidental deletion. Something as simple as failing to save a file before your computer reboots (usually after an automatic upgrade) can cause data loss which translates into time lost reworking the file.

In many cases it is possible to retrieve at least some of the data lost when a hard drive crashes, but the technical wizards who know how to do this do not come cheap. It can cost thousands of euros for laptop, and tens of thousands for a networked computer. There are many back-up systems available to mitigate the problem, but a system is only as good as how faithfully it is followed. Many users of personal desktop or laptop computers have gone as far as to purchase a data storage device such as a USB flash drive or external hard drive. In theory all data files are loaded onto one of these devices at regular intervals. Now when was the last time that happened?

A business that does not have some sort of data back-up system – one that is rigorously enforced – is just asking for trouble, serious trouble. Even with regular backing up some data losses occur, and time and productivity are always lost during the period when the data are being restored. Let’s say that three hours of downtime costs the company €100. It is likely to be much, much more, but suppose that by luck there were no sales lost, and the €100 just represents lost productivity because you still have to pay your employees even if there is nothing for them to do until the computers are back up.

For less than €100a year, it is possible to protect your data and guarantee that your small or middle-sized company does not suffer catastrophic losses. This is all done through the wonders of online back-up. The best part is that once the backup-software has been installed on your computer or server your job is done. No more remembering to change the tape or back-up on to a memory device. At fixed intervals, all your data are compressed and transmitted to an offsite location where they are stored. Encryption and secure transmission protect your data every step of the way. Your data is further safeguarded by using multiple data centresfor storage, even of older files and documents. This redundancy ensures full restoration in the time it takes to download the lost information.