Data is stored on a hard drive of a local computer and/or a central server and/or in the cloud. If your data is stored in the cloud, then it’s already backed up, but you should still consider backing up cloud stored data to your own storage.
For data backed up to your on premise hard drives you can use an online backup service (such as Carbonite, Backupmyinfo or Mozy) to backup your data. Or if you don’t want to use an online service (which I highly recommend you do) you can backup your data to an external storage system and ensure you take it off site on a regular basis.
Don’t only backup your user files (the files you and your users create) but also ensure you have a backup of your application and operating system files. You might even want to consider creating an image of your key hard drives to make it easier to create a copy of your server.
Earlier this year Carbonite surveyed more than 125 small businesses with between two and 20 employees to study their disaster recovery and data backup methods. The Carbonite-sponsored study indicated 48 percent of American small businesses with between two and 20 employees had experienced data loss, up from 42 percent when Carbonite surveyed small businesses in December 2010. The top causes of small business’ data loss included hardware/software failure (54 percent), accidental deletion (54 percent), computer viruses (33 percent) and theft (10 percent).
Although 31 percent of small business owners surveyed agree that backing up their company’s computers is a hassle that takes time away from running their business, the research indicated that physical devices were the most prominent backup methods used by small businesses. Specifically, external hard drives (41 percent), CDs/DVDs (36 percent) and USB/flash memory sticks (36 percent) were reported as the three most-popular ways SMBs back up data.
While many SMBs recognize that online backup solutions offer significant advantages over traditional physical-device backups – such as being automatic, continuous, offsite and requiring no extra equipment – the research indicates that those who do not backup to the cloud cited cost as the number one factor in their decision.
In response to SMB concerns over cost Carbonite last month announced the availability of Carbonite Business, which provides a low-cost, flat-rate, predictable pricing plan for small businesses, starting at $229 annually for an unlimited number of computers.
“We know from our experience working with small businesses over the past five years that they need an affordable, flat-fee pricing model,” said Peter Lamson, general manager of small business for Carbonite. “Too many online backup providers have priced online backup at a level that is simply not appropriate for the way SMBs budget. At Carbonite, SMB is in our DNA, so we worked diligently to develop a solution that now allows small businesses to enjoy the superior protection of Carbonite’s online backup protection, at a price that makes good business sense.”