Where do you store your data? Where will you save your emails and other business-related material? How can you make sure all your data is secure against cyberattacks?
Your IT department or your IT partner will offer you the best options regarding saving your data. The main rule that most businesses follow is what is commonly referred to as the ‘3-2-1 rule’: 3 backups, 2 types of storage, 1 offsite storage.
When you try to find out what works best for your business, Bytes Managed IT is here to help you discover the most efficient and budget-friendly solution. Between cloud backups and local backups, you are sure to find a combination that suits your business.
What Is Cloud Backup?
We hear it everywhere: cloud backup. You use cloud backup when you send your data to a remote server—i.e. not located in your business premises—that runs a cloud service platform. You connect to this cloud service via the Internet and send all (or a selection of) your files, documents, emails, and other data to be stored there. You can access them from anywhere in the world and whenever you need, even in the middle of the night.
Some companies back up all their documents and files on the cloud at the end of each workday, thus creating a solid backup of their business.
What Are Local Backups?
Local backups are copies of your data made on storage media available to you at your business premises. These include hard drive disks (HDD), solid-state disks (SSD), memory cards, USB flash drives, and external hard drives.
These media reside in your office, sometimes even inside your computer. As long as you are sitting at your desk—or are accessing your desktop remotely—you can have immediate access to them, retrieve your data, and control everything about your local backup.
How Do I Choose between Cloud and Local Backup?
Given the increasingly wide availability of cloud backup, a growing number of companies are sending their files to be stored remotely. How does cloud backup really compare to local backup, though?
How Do I Save Money on My Backups?
Cloud backup is usually paid through a monthly or annual subscription. This makes financial sense as it frees resources that would otherwise have been allocated to buying hard drives and other software and hardware investment. From a financial point of view, cloud backup is usually more economical.
However, when you sign your contract with a cloud service provider, don’t forget to read the fine print. Will you be charged if you move all your data to another cloud service? Data ingress and egress can cost you extra, and you should include that potential cost in your backup calculations.
Also, what happens when your subscription expires? Does the cloud service delete all your data right away? Can you easily move it to a different provider? Make sure you know the terms and conditions of your contract before it expires or you could lose access to your data.
Cloud backup usually allows you to easily scale your needs. As more files, documents, and important data accumulate, you can move to bigger cloud storage packages that offer more space. This, however, will cost you more.
In the case of local backup, scalability takes time and resources. You need to buy and install new hardware and software. Your IT department or IT partner will devote time to incorporating these into your existing data storage infrastructure.
In terms of scalability, cloud backup is usually easier, faster, and more budget-efficient than local storage.
How Secure Will My Data Be?
Cybercrimes and cyberattacks are on the rise. Dangerous criminals are constantly trying to find ways into data and make money out of it, either through ransomware or by selling your proprietary data to a third party.
Cloud services companies spend a lot of money on expert personnel, hardware, and software to make sure they have robust security systems in place to protect your data from cyberattacks. In the case of local storage, you need to install VPNs, firewalls, and other software and hardware to protect your drives and storage units. This will require time and expertise from your IT department as well as resources and investment.
Assuming you choose a reputable cloud storage service, your data is usually safer on the cloud than locally.
How Can I Protect My Data from a Disaster?
Accidents, from earthquakes to break-ins, happen. Even random events like forgetting your laptop in a taxi mean you risk losing your data.
Cloud storage makes sure your data is secure even if your office catches fire or gets flooded during a storm. This means you can continue working from day one by retrieving your data from your cloud backup.
How Can I Have Quick Access to My Data?
The main disadvantage of cloud storage is that you need the Internet to access it. Additionally, if you want to download your data from the cloud, you may need time. The speed depends a lot on your Internet connection as well as traffic on the cloud service itself.
For large amounts of data, local storage is much faster: you can access your data instantly since all your information is located on-site. You can move it, switch it to a different medium, or copy it whenever you want—and fast.
How Can I Access My Data When I’m away?
Cloud data is accessible wherever you are, as long as you have an Internet connection. You may find it hard to access your cloud data on an unstable Internet connection. While cloud data is generally easier to retrieve and access, it is contingent on fast and stable Internet access. If you want to spend a quiet workweek at your mountain cabin, you will probably lack the high-speed Internet connection you have back at your office.
Your local storage is usually accessible only from your office, although there are certain workarounds such as carrying some documents and files on your laptop or on an external hard drive, or even remotely connecting to your office computer. However, these come with security risks.
So Should I Choose Cloud or Local Backups?
As IT experts, we suggest you use a mix of cloud and local backups.
One of your company’s most precious possessions is its data. You need to ensure that, no matter what happens, you will have at least one secure source where you can access it. Data duplication through various means mitigates the dangers and ensures that your documents, files, emails, and other pertinent information are both protected and easily accessible.
Cloud storage offers flexibility and easy access but requires an Internet connection. Local storage can be more responsive and immediate, giving a different kind of flexibility.
The exact mix of available options depends on the type and size of your business. Once we understand the specifics of your company and its needs, we will provide you with several options that are financially viable and combine high security with total control over your data.
Contact us at 308-635-2983 (Nebraska) or 307-271-6475 (Wyoming) or schedule an appointment with Bytes Managed IT online and let us be the IT service that truly works for your business.