Placing system redundancies in the hands of offsite professionals is smart for business continuity.

Offsite backup crucial, but selectivity is essential

Stephen Perkins

With so many uncertainties surrounding the world of business, it seems like there is no surefire way to prevent all possible disasters. While backups of system settings and sensitive information are crucial to mitigating potential disturbances, many believe that the cheapest, most effective way to do this is to simply make copies onto external hard drives stored onsite. 

This, however, is somewhat of a fallacy. Without being able to see what is coming for the enterprise as a whole, those tasked with making those backups might put it on the bottom of the to-do list. When a disaster does hit, this means that extensive, up-to-date versions of essential files and programs might not exist, effectively jeopardizing the company's future.

"A good backup serves a few purposes," said Lifehacker contributor Walter Glenn. "It should help you recover from accidentally deleted files, a crashed hard drive, or something as serious as a site-wide catastrophe. But the only way to ensure that last one is to keep a backup offsite. Do you bother?"

The answer is yes. Offsite backup is not only maintained by professionals who have proper job descriptions entailing maintenance of these redundancies, but they can also be obtained at a moments notice and, in certain cases, be readily accessed from temporary workplaces. This can be tantamount to business continuity should the physical office be uninhabitable or inaccessible.

Choose wisely
While it might seem like a good idea to take the entire contents of a server and dump it on someone else, this can be counterproductive to disaster recovery. According to Forbes contributor Tony Bradley, only the most important of data and applications should be reserved for offsite backup. This will streamline the process of getting things back in working order without waiting for things like photos from the company picnic to be restored to the system.

Categories: Data Protection, Disaster Recovery, Online Backup