Corporate Data Backup: Types of Storage
For MSPs researching corporate data backups, types of storage are a major consideration. The reason why? Today’s workplaces are complex data environments. They’re much more complex than they were even several years ago.
Demand for Enterprise Data Storage Is Growing
The demand for storage has never been greater. Image files, PDFs, emails, databases, videos, sensitive user data — these have begun to eat up serious disk space at organizations across the globe.
At the same time, organizations now recognize that data backups are a must. Some companies, because of their industry, are required to back up and archive their data. This is a requirement of federal legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or HIPAA. And the penalties for non-compliance can be substantial — with financial firms facing millions in fines from the federal government.
Outside IT, organizational leaders have also come to grips with the pervasiveness of data security threats. Protecting against viruses, for instance, now costs businesses nearly $60 billion a year. Data protection carries a high price tag. And with high-profile data breaches gaining national headlines, organizational leaders are aware of their data’s vulnerabilities more than ever.
Here’s another factor driving corporate data backups: types of storage are growing more complex as organizations look to collaborate with partners across the world. A healthcare firm in Boston may wish to share a promotional video with a major partner in Shanghai. But that kind of collaboration can be resource-intensive. HD video can balloon in size, and a small server risks being overwhelmed with multiple, simultaneous download requests.
Types of Storage
Experts recommend that organizations rely on several types of storage to safeguard data. Among those they can choose from are:
External hard drives
These are a convenient option, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. External hard drives are relatively inexpensive and can simply be connected to a PC.
Still, external hard drives have several disadvantages. First, they’re not an end-all, be-all of storage. Files on an external drive must be backed up elsewhere. Hard drives can fail. They can also be stolen. And for traveling employees, hard drives must be packed in a suitcase — or files must be backed up online — which can be cumbersome.
Thumb drives consume little power or physical space. They’re eminently portable. Like other external hard drives, they’re not the total solution for backups. They can be stolen or lost, or they can break. Moreover, their storage capacity is often limited.
Network-attached storage (NAS) provides data backups in a network and allows for large amounts of economical storage. One example of NAS is a hard drive with an Ethernet port. Other NAS solutions may rely on Wi-Fi and may use multiple hard drives in a RAID array. The benefit here is that NAS can ease the load on overworked servers while consolidating storage. This increases network efficiency and reduces administration. NAS may be best suited for small and medium-sized businesses.
Remote, online storage
This is a compelling option for many organizations, regardless of their size. Remote servers are often more secure. They also offer a key benefit for collaboration. Large files can easily be shared with partner organizations without draining limited network resources. Data can usually be accessed via a web browser, saving traveling workers from having to carry around external drives.
The downside of remote storage has to do with large files. With some vendors’ solutions, backing up to the cloud can be slow since organizations must contend with their own limited upload speeds.
Whichever the combination of options, experts say that organizations may do best when working with a managed storage service. Managed services may be the best, most economical choice for small to medium size businesses.
Data Protection: Mitigating the Risk of Breaches
It’s no surprise that data breaches are a major concern among organizations of all sizes. Retailers like Home Depot have suffered publicly as cyber attackers have breached their networks and stolen credit card data. In Home Depot’s case, the attack was devastating. The 2014 breach ultimately compromised 56 million cardholder records.
But data breaches aren’t limited to large retailers. 2015 saw 2,260 confirmed security incidents that resulted in data losses, according to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report. These breaches touch every industry, no matter an organization’s size or public reputation, Verizon notes.
Nor do breaches only raise the specter of identity theft. Data breaches are also a major source of data loss. And these threats are even more widespread than you’d imagine.
In a recent survey of global organizations, the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council found that about 35 percent of organizations suffered data losses, while about 20 percent of respondents were only able to partially restore their data. About 7 percent of respondents said that they had permanently lost data.
The causes of data breaches are numerous. Hackers may target an organization in an attempt to steal data. But malware is culpable, too. Malware can spread throughout an organization’s network, infecting one computer after another and corrupting organizational data. Systems may be rendered useless from malware, and an attack may overwrite — and thus delete — existing data.
Not Just Malware
Still, human error is often to blame for breaches. The Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council found that human error accounts for about 43 percent of outages and data losses.
Sometimes these human-caused breaches can be high profile. Just take the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
This federal agency, which insures bank savings accounts, suffered five major data breaches recently. In each case, employees were at fault. While leaving the agency, they accidentally downloaded and took off with sensitive data.
Employees may accidentally delete crucial files. They may click on a flashy, malware-laden advertisement. Or they may open an email attachment from a spoofed address, resulting in large-scale data losses for an organization.
Whichever the case, the takeaway is clear: data is at risk with more opportunities than ever before for breaches and loss.
Data breaches can also have deep organizational consequences — another reason why, when researching corporate data backups, understanding the different types of storage can be so crucial.
Data losses can have large, though immeasurable, effects on an organization’s employees. According to a recent survey, about two-thirds of IT employees have lost data at some point in their careers. This hurt other employees’ work-life balance, presumably as they raced to recreate their lost projects. About 24 percent of survey respondents said that this caused a loss of employee morale.
Data losses can also damage an organization’s brand. The loss of proprietary information, such as product details or acquisition plans, can harm an organization’s long-term prospects — and give an edge to competitors.
The Challenge for MSPs
While researching corporate data backups, types of storage are a key consideration for small- and medium-sized businesses. In an article for TechTarget, Niel Nickolaisen, a CIO, explains why.
Nickolaisen notes that he’s responsible for an ever-growing mound of data. This includes courseware data, social data, economic data and data from partner colleges.
And the mound is only growing larger. His user base is growing. So is the staff pool, as well as the organization’s applications and internal data.
Nickolaisen notes that the picture is even more complicated below the surface. Not all data, he notes, is made equal. Some data needs to be preserved for specific amounts of time, in order to meet regulatory requirements. Other data is permanent.
All of which has added up. At the time of writing, Nickolaisen noted that his organization relied on self-managed, on-site data backups. But that had grown increasingly untenable. “It could be that doing it all myself is just not a battle that is worth fighting,” he writes.
A Comprehensive Backup Solution
MSPs: How would your clients respond if you said they could have it all?
It’s not just a hypothetical question. With SolarWinds MSP's (formerly LOGICnow) MSP Backup & Recovery, you can keep business running, whether your networks are facing cyber attacks or natural disasters.
The benefits begin with continuous recovery. MSP Backup & Recovery:
- Backs up data at the block level with True Delta, allowing for lightweight — and more frequent — data backups.
- Updates a standby virtual server after each live server has been backed up.
- Offers rapid recovery, with automated recovery to either virtual or physical servers — whichever is faster.
- Provides security with cloud-based storage, with a globally distributed network of data centers that are either ISO-certified or SSAE compliant.
- Allows you flexibility to use your own infrastructure, and to use MSP Backup & Recovery solely on a software level.
Recovery from Bare Metal
Want to use onsite media? With SolarWinds MSP, you can use a bootable USB drive and:
- Automate an entire operating system’s boot environment and system state — not to mention its data — so you can prepare for the worst-case scenario.
- Perform restores in a single, easy step.
- Restore your systems to fully functioning states, even if they’ve been reduced to partial functionality.
- Recover your server as a virtual machine.
Keep Physical Storage and the Cloud in Sync
Our hybrid cloud storage gives you total flexibility, as you layer your backups among different types of storage. You can maintain in-house backups, alongside perfectly synced cloud backups. Features include:
- Local Speed Vault. Back up your data simultaneously in the cloud, on a USB drive, on network-attaches storage and even on a user’s workstation.
- Lightning-fast recovery. MSP Backup & Recovery opts for the fastest restore option, either from the cloud or local backups, which keeps a business running without disruptions.
- Confidence in redundancy. Multiple layers of backups give you the peace of mind that, should a data disaster strike, your data will be safe.
Restore Your Virtual Machines
Our cloud-based platform gives you the power to quickly — and efficiently — perform restores of VMs. Our virtual machine backups allow you to:
- Rely on the full support of VMware ESX so you can fully back up Hyper-V virtual machines.
- Back up your virtual environments quickly and efficiently, using our proprietary backup accelerator for Hyper-V, as well as our integration with VMware APIs.
- Perform backups even while your virtual machines are running.
- Regain data with complete restores, with recoveries that range from individual files to entire host servers.
- Monitor all backups with a single, agile web-based console.
Try It Today
Organizational leaders are right to be concerned about their data. A lot depends on its integrity and availability.
That’s why they turn to MSPs, whose managed services offer crucial support across a network’s operations. But with the stakes so high, MSPs know that they need a dependable, comprehensive and efficient backup solution. That’s why when researching corporate data backups, types of storage are just the first step. The backup platform is perhaps an even more crucial component of the search.
Find out why MSPs continue to choose intelligence with SolarWinds MSP. Try MSP Backup & Recovery free for 30 days.
About SolarWinds MSP
SolarWinds MSP delivers the only 100% SaaS, fully cloud-based IT service management (ITSM) platform, backed by collective intelligence and the highest levels of layered security. SolarWinds MSP’s products including Risk Intelligence, Remote Management, Backup & Disaster Recovery, Mail and Service Desk – comprise the market’s most widely trusted integrated solution.
Deployed on millions of endpoints across hundreds of thousands of networks, the platform has the industry vision to define and deliver the future of the market. SolarWinds MSP provides the most comprehensive IT security available as well as LOGICcards, the first ever IT notification feature powered by prescriptive analytics and machine learning.
SolarWinds MSP’s passion is helping IT professionals secure and manage their systems and data through actionable insights, rewriting the rules of IT.
For more information, visit www.solarwindsmsp.com.
Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/articles/home-depot-breach-bigger-than-targets-1411073571
Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council: http://drbenchmark.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/ANNUAL_REPORT-DRPBenchmark_Survey_Results_2014_report.pdf
Types List: http://typeslist.com/different-types-of-computer-viruses/
The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/05/09/fdic-reports-five-major-incidents-of-cybersecurity-breaches-since-fall/
Business News Daily: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6407-employees-suffer-data-loss.html