Posts Tagged ‘backup’

The challenges of enterprise file storage

File storage is a burgeoning problem and the one that isn’t going away anytime soon. Did you know that less than half of all corporate data is stored on file servers? The figure is 46 percent, with the remainder being stored on desktops, smartphones and tablets, collaboration systems, in email systems, and on consumer cloud storage services.

For many enterprises this is a ticking time bomb. Such fragmented storage holds a very high risk and threatens a potential failing in legislative compliance, legal hold and e-discovery with severe financial penalties.

Other business risks include poor decision making. If the necessary data is not available within the necessary time frame then there are chances that any decisions that are made without it will be the wrong decisions.

Although email is growing exponentially, most of the stored corporate data is in the form of files such as Word documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, design data and other user generated content. Taking file storage and email storage together, while the majority of files tend to be stored on file servers that are managed by IT departments, many are stored on devices that are not controlled by IT, for instance laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, and consumer cloud services such as Google Docs either with or without the approval of IT.

While many organizations are adopting cloud based email archiving as a solution to their burgeoning email problems, fewer are turning to cloud based file archiving. Although email archiving is a natural place to enter the cloud, it is only one step in the right direction. In many ways it is illogical to have multiple archiving systems such as cloud based email archiving and IT managed file archiving. A much better approach is to adopt a single system that is able to manage email, files and every other form of electronic corporate data.

However the problems involved in achieving this should not be underestimated; file archiving can be more challenging than email archiving. A lot of the email resides on email servers, but files can reside on file servers, desktop computers, laptops and all other devices mentioned above. Although the ‘bring your own device’ policies adopted by many trendy organisations have their benefits, they have significant downsides too, and particularly in terms of the number of alternative locations for corporate data that should be archived.

According to an Osterman report sponsored by Mimecast, 37% of enterprise electronic data is in the form of email, 46% is stored on file servers; 12% on user desktop computers; 12% on collaboration systems; 10% on user laptops; 4% on tablets and smartphones; 2% on home computers; and 4% on a variety of other devices for instance on USB memory sticks.

Thus it is becoming increasingly clear that finding a complete archiving solution must be given high priority by enterprise boards which are otherwise risking stringent penalties imposed for failure to comply with regulatory requirements as well as facing potentially serious data security problems. Email archiving is a good start, but without file archiving it is less than half of the battle.

Disaster Recovery Planning – What to Watch For

Disaster recovery for any firm requires extensive logistical and resource planning. Every company is unique in the manner in which it operates. Therefore, every disaster recovery plan has to be tailored to fit a company’s exact needs. Almost every company stores some information digitally on servers and network attached hard drives. The migration to digital data storage has undoubtedly made things a lot easier. However, it has also exposed companies to certain risks and threats.

Data Backup Plans
Digital information can be compromised or lost due to theft, as well as from physical damage. It is a fact that natural disasters can and do occur. Natural disasters can cripple national power grids, causing power failure. They often also cause physical damage to buildings. Both situations can lead to data and monetary losses for firms.
The most effective way for a company to protect itself is to have a disaster recovery plan. Companies tend to hire external firms to help them plan out protocols for disaster recovery. Some enterprises formulate their own protocols, which might include partnering with a data center.

Pitfalls to Avoid
Whether a company hires an external firm or creates a disaster recovery plan by themselves does not matter. There are certain factors that have to be kept in mind in either case. There are numerous pitfalls that companies can face during disaster recovery planning if they are not careful.
The first thing that companies forget to do is frequently test their disaster recovery plan. Firms evolve over time, and a disaster recovery plan should also adapt to such changes. Also, disaster recovery planning entails strict protocols that have to be initiated instantly upon the time of a disaster. A company has to ensure an instantaneous response to a disaster. Therefore, it is imperative that recovery plans should be regularly tested.

A firm should update and test its plan at least yearly; ideally, an enterprise should conduct a test every six months. Moreover, testing a disaster recovery plan regularly helps company managers understand the time it will take to get operations back online. A recovery plan takes time to complete successfully. Therefore, it is important to figure out how long it will take for a company to recovery fully.

A second pitfall is not planning for full recovery with a plan. A disaster recovery plan should exactly replicate the current situation of a company. Once implemented it should not just provide temporary solutions. It must provide all protocols to bring a company back to 100% function. This is especially true in regards to hardware requirements. For instance, a company might be running its operations using 10 servers. However, its data backup plan might only be to run eight servers. Something will not be able to run as needed due to the missing pair of servers. As is true for most things, the devil is in the details. Therefore, it is important to lay out a plan that caters to each and every requirement of a business’ operations.
Finally, numerous companies do not plan for every scenario. A disaster is unpredictable, and it can have any numbers of effects on a company.The best disaster recovery plan is one that to attempt to anticipate all possible impacts from all possible scenarios.
Consequently, every company invests a significant amount of money in disaster planning, no matter how it performs it. However, when a disaster occurs, the plan will more than pay for itself in loss prevention and preparation.

Author’s bio: David is an IT professional and technology freak. He works as a software developer in a company which boasts of providing the best disaster recovery plan.

Back Up Your Files Today To Avoid Disaster

If there is one thing that people should do, it is to backup their files as they go. Unfortunately while computers and systems are generally highly helpful, they are also by their very nature quite unreliable. And even if your computer never breaks down, then there’s always the chance that they might get dropped, or stolen, or burned in a house fire…

In short you can’t account for every situation, but what you can do is use your common sense and take preventative measures.

Here is how to back up your files…

Physical Storage

It’s a good idea to back up your files on some kind of physical storage at least weekly. Physical storage means things like portable hard drives and things like memory USB drives. By storing some files on these things you will have something physical that you can use to keep your files safe. It could happen…

If you want something a little more portable to back your files up with then how about using your smart phone – which probably has a few gigabytes worth of storage, and you always have access to it.

However this isn’t entirely a suitable method for backing up all of your files, as you will find that it takes a lot of time to back up your files this way.

Online Storage

At the same time it’s also a good idea to look into online storage methods, and there are many of these you can use in order to keep your files safe. For instance it is possible to use online storage services that will back up all your files automatically when you connect, which is a great for the absent minded.

These dedicated backup services can be expensive. If you are a web entrepreneur then the files you will care most about backing up will be things like word documents and .HTML files – which are very small. You can easily back up these files by simply dropping them onto the server which you use for your website.

Meanwhile you also have a huge amount of storage that comes free with your e-mail. Google Drive provides 5 gigs of free storage, you could also e-mail your documents to yourself and then mark them as starred e-mail which will enable you to easily find them.

Free cloud services that you can use for backing up your files are iCloud (if you own an Apple product), Google Drive or DropBox.

James Delurno is a tech blogger and software expert. Currently he writes content for one of the best registry cleaner program’s website and blog.

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