It is known to all that backing up mission critical data is the key to success of an organisation. However, many companies still decide to back up data locally in order to save money. There is nothing wrong with this decision, if you look at it from a financial point of view. A few boxes of dual-layer DVDs or even an external hard drive or two will cost much less than opting for the services of a rather expensive backup service provider. However, from the point of view of technicality and security, everything is wrong with this strategy.
External backup media, such as external hard disks, or optical discs, can easily get corrupted on prolonged storage. It does not matter if you keep DVDs locked up in a safe. Prolonged exposure to moist air is enough to harm the layer of dye inside the optical discs, leading to data corruption. External hard disks are not completely safe, either. No matter how safely you store these, one single accidental impact or static electric discharge is enough to make the data irretrievable.
The best way to avoid such a disaster is to opt for an online backup service. Online backup can be of two types, one that you can set up locally, and another, where your files are stored online at some secured server hosted and maintained by the service provider.
Local online backup servers are powerful, high end PCs with terabyte after terabyte of storage space. These PCs are not used for any other purpose except data storage. Some backup software is installed in all the PCs, which keeps backing up files as the users work. The backup is absolutely transparent to the users; they do not have to do anything about it.
The only drawback is that these servers are often very expensive to set up. You will need to enlist the help of a sufficiently qualified system administrator to make sure that the server is maintained properly. Also, in case of a natural calamity or an accident at your workplace, the server will be affected along with all the other systems. If you wish to avoid this inconvenience and expense, it is best to opt for a third party backup service provider.
Backup service providers usually have secure servers for keeping backups of user data. The service may be provided either free of cost, or for an annual fee. The provider takes care of everything – be it providing security for the stored data, or taking backups periodically. There are several good providers who offer backup services at reasonable rates. If you are not confident about maintaining backups of your data internally, it is best to employ a specialist company.