Data Backup: On-Site vs. Off-Site, which is Better?

Data makes the World Wide Web go around. It makes the world of business go around as well. Imagine finding tomorrow morning that your hard drive had crashed overnight. How would you contact your clients for the day? What would happen to that big project you’ve spent weeks on? You would likely struggle just to make it through one day without your data.

According to the US Bureau of Labor, 93 percent of companies that suffer a significant data loss are out of business within five years. This statistic is staggering, considering it is largely preventable. How are you backing up your data?

Data Backup Methods

As you put together your company disaster recovery plan, it is important to consider methods to backup your data. Data backup can be handled on-site via local storage devices (hard drives, magnetic tapes, etc), or off-site via a remote server. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. If your goal is to maximize data protection, you may be wondering which method is better. Consider the following:

On-Site Data Backup

This method utilizes backup devices you connect directly to your computers, such as hard drives. Backup devices are fairly inexpensive, always accessible, and typically much faster than off-site solutions. You will also not need internet access to backup or retrieve data this way.

However, hard drives can be damaged or stolen. Your sensitive data would be destroyed or leaked into the wrong hands. Undetected viruses can also be spread throughout your backed up files.

Off-Site Data Backup

Data can also be backed up off-site to remote servers over the internet. This data can be accessed from any location, will be protected in the case of a natural disaster at the business, and will be both encrypted and virus-protected. It is typically stored on various servers at different locations, making it retrievable even when one server goes down.

Since you will be storing your data on a third party’s servers, this method may be more expensive. You will also run into data limits while backup and retrieval are usually much slower.

Which is Better? The Answer is, Yes.

Despite the great advantages of both methods, neither provides the best solution alone. You really need a combination of both if your goal is maximum data protection. With an on-site solution, you will always have immediate and quick access to your data. You also will not have to worry about data limitations imposed by third-party servers. This could be your primary backup solution in conjunction with an off-site secondary solution. The off-site solution will allow you to protect your sensitive data against the risk of natural disaster and theft, and have access to your data outside of your place of business. This is one scenario where you really can (and should) have the best of both worlds.

Developing a disaster recovery plan is not easy and can take considerable time. Yet, not having one can significantly damage or kill your business. Enstep Technology Solutions provides disaster recovery services for the small to medium business market in greater Houston. Contact us for more information on how we help protect your data while you keep your business growing.