Whether you are a home or business user backing up your data is important, however, the requirements & methods used are normally very different. Home users are normally less rigorous with their backups and prepared to jump through a few more hoops when they do bother if it means saving money. Business users cannot normally afford to be without their systems and are prepared to pay for a reliable low maintenance solution.

Home Users

Although we do not sell backup solutions suitable for home users we have some free advice for you to bear in mind. Your computer operating system came with a program for backing up files. Its exact capabilities will depend on the version of the operating system and you should consult its ‘Help’ for further details of what is possible on your PC. It will certainly be able to backup those important photos and videos as well as other files. In all cases you will need somewhere to store the backup and an external USB drive is a good choice.

Business Users

Most businesses recognise the importance of being able to recover their data in the event of a disaster. Whatever the reason for the loss of data the importance of being able to recover it and the computers it resided on is paramount. For some, who operate 24/7 and utilise a myriad of complex business software achieving this is no small matter. Many businesses only operate five days a week or during the day and finding convenient times to backup files overnight can be fairly simple.

We sell various Hewlett Packard tape drives ranging up to 3000 GB capacity although the exact amount will depend on the level of data compression that can be achieved and the block size. The block size is the minimum amount of space allocated to each file so larger block sizes can result in reduced capacity if your data contains many small files. A larger block size also improves performance when backing up larger files so as is so often the case it’s a trade-off. We will select a suitable block size based on the variety of your data. Tapes provide a fast, low cost means of backing up or restoring data with the added advantage that they can be easily transported ‘off-site’. In the unlikely event of the tape drive failing within its warranty period an advance replacement can be obtained. Internal or external tape drives are available. For most businesses removable hard disks are the only other alternative. Typically they have less capacity and are not compatible with all types of backup software.

In almost all cases the backup software supplied, as standard, is inadequate for backing up business computers so we recommend the use of third party software such as the ArcServe or BackUp Exec . Both are compatible with tapes or hard disks. These provide a variety of options to meet your requirements starting with a single server solution. Additional agents exist for backing up Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server Databases, open files and additional servers.  A Disaster Recovery option is also available to simplify the recovery of a whole computer including all disk partitions and the Active Directory. For businesses using Microsoft Small Business Server they do a special bundles which are significantly cheaper than buying all the individual bits. Even if your business systems have to run 24/7 these products enable everything to be backed up according to whatever schedule you choose. For added peace of mind and to ensure compatibility with forthcoming new operating systems, service packs and other updates you may opt to include Software Assurance which for an additional annual fee entitles you to upgrade to the latest revision of their software at any time for no additional charge.

From the above you can probably guess that a comprehensive and reliable backup solution will not be without cost. However, consider the consequences of losing some or all of your data. That said not all data is equally important and not all businesses need to run 24/7. By helping you carefully analyse your particular requirements we can provide a solution tailored to your specific requirements and budget.

If your business uses VMWare a specialist product such as Veeam  is best to backup the virtual servers to network storage. However, the above products are still useful as they provide a simple mechanism for you to transfer a copy of the backup offsite.