What’s The Difference Between Online Storage And Computer Storage

Did you know that you have the option to store your files e.g. photos, documents, videos etc. online and have access from all your devices remotely? Well, this is what many software manufacturers like Symantec now offer. It is an amazing tool, not only because you can access your files from anywhere, but also because it’s a great backing up tool.

This video shows an example of online storage.

The decision to transition to online storage – or cloud storage – often causes anxiety in business leaders around the world. This is because computer based storage solutions are tried and tested, and professionals feel secure knowing their data is saved to tangible equipment. However, recently developed technology offers new benefits that many find appealing, making it harder to maintain the status quo.

While managers and IT personnel weigh the pros and cons, developers are increasing the functionality and ease of use of online storage services. It is expected that before long, nearly all companies will back-up at least a portion of their records online. Even so, it is still important to consider the benefits of both.

Benefits of Computer Storage

-The cost of computer storage decreases every year, and it is standard for new systems to come with large record holding capacities. Also, once computer equipment has been purchased, there is no additional cost until the hardware or software must be upgraded.

-Accessing information on a local hard drive tends to be faster than accessing the same information via an online storage provider. However, this can vary greatly depending on Internet speed.

-Computer storage limits access to data to those who have contact with the equipment. Assuming the equipment is held securely, there is minimal risk of outsiders viewing sensitive information. Transferring sensitive or valuable records over the Internet does pose some risk, though most online storage providers have taken steps to eliminate the possibility of interception.

Benefits of Online Storage

-Data kept in online backup facilities is available from any computer with an Internet connection, making it more convenient for traveling employees to stay in touch with their home offices. Access to files stored on computers is limited to equipment that employees have in their physical possession.

-Disaster recovery goes more smoothly with instant access to virtually backed-up files. Unlike computer storage, there are no concerns that equipment will be affected by the same event that caused interruption to business operations. Online storage is immune to fire, flood, accident, and other potential threats.

-Online storage providers handle all technology upgrades that are required, rolling the expense into the amount charged to clients. That eliminates large capital expenditures for new equipment faced by companies who rely on computer storage.

-With so many employees working remotely, virtual teams are seeking better ways to communicate and share project responsibilities. Many online storage services offer features for sharing files. In some cases, data can be manipulated right online.

– Finally, softwar manufacturers who offer users online backup, give special prices now. The last norton promo codes give a 20% discount to users for backing up their files online.

Fortunately, the computer storage vs. online storage decision doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Organizations can transition some of their records to start while they gain confidence in the system. Business leaders might decide that certain files belong online, while others are more appropriately held in traditional computer storage equipment.

Resources such as time, space, and funds for capital expenditures are scarce, yet all are required in great quantity for storage solutions based entirely on computers. As online storage features continue to develop and the technology becomes faster and more secure, it is expected that the majority of businesses will use online storage for some or all of their critical records.

How To Find the Right IT Support Partners for your Business Online

As a business, it is imperative to be on top of your game in terms of technology and IT systems, or your company could risk becoming stale and old fashioned. Some companies have an in-house IT team that  provides the services they need, however it is often cheaper and more efficient to work alongside an outside company which offer online IT support.

What do you need IT Support Partners for?

Depending on your business and the complexity of your network systems, you may need an IT support partner just for things such as backup and disaster recovery, or you may need to outsource a whole IT services package.

Here are just some of the ways an IT support partner can assist you and your business:

-Security: A number one priority for anyone that uses computers and technology in their business is to be fully protected from the threat of viruses. Security can come in the form of anti-virus software to prevent spyware, malware and trojans, firewalls to prevent incoming threats and even content filtering to ensure your employees cannot access anything harmful to them or their computer.

-Data Backup and Disaster Recovery: Keeping your data backed up is extremely important and vital for any business, as it is able to recover that data in case of an emergency. A good IT support company should be able to offer you a package to keep your data safe.

-Cloud Servers: Hosted cloud servers are constantly growing in popularity, due to their ease of use and the costs they save many businesses. With a cloud server, you can expand your company’s capabilities without the worry of maintaining it yourself.

-General IT Support:  Computer crashed again? E-mail server not working? With an IT support behind you it is easy to get all problems fixed quickly and efficiently, preventing you loss of business and time.

The Importance of IT support

Now you should have a good idea of what you may need an IT support partner for, it comes to looking for one that will suit your needs. There are several things that a good company should be able to offer and provide, including the several items that are listed above, such as unlimited remoted and on-site support, data backup and restoration. When looking through the different companies online, make a list of the things that are most important to you and your business, whether that be spam protection or full server support and then ensure that you can find all of that within one company.

It is no good having several IT support companies all doing different things, as this will work out both expensive and confusing. Look for a company that offers a complete service, with just one point of contact (it’s better to have only one guy accountable than a batch of people who throw the ball to one another), to save you from trouble quick and easy.

When you have made a shortlist of the companies that offer everything you need in one place, it is time to look at the extras that you may not have thought to take into account.

Extras could be 24/7 support, if your business operates on a weekend, or during the night, then you will need them to be available during these times.

Also look for customer testimonials, or proof of previous big name clients. If an IT support company is lacking this information on their website, then it is probably because they do not have any, so it would be better to look elsewhere.

Finally, if you can find a company that is part of the HTG Peer Group, then this is the cream of the crop. This group is of around 2,500 worldwide companies that are recognised for their best practice services which are then shared with other IT companies. They are basically the leaders in their field, who teach the others how to do it properly!

Conclusion

When short listing IT support partners online first look to ensure they provide every service you need from that one company.

Next, look for the extras that they offer, such as 24/7 support or on-site assistance.

Finally, check their previous clients, testimonials and if they are part of recognised groups to select the best from your shortlist.

 

5 Types Of Security Essentials Required For Cloud Hosting

There are 5 types of cloud security essentials, and these are necessary in building a good cloud hosting server. These are important so that there will be a more stable access on the cloud and cloud users will be able to enjoy the benefits to the fullest. But first of all let’s see quickly what cloud hosting is:

What is Cloud Hosting

Here’s a short video explaining in simple words what Cloud Hosting is:

1. Data Security

The first one, which is the most important, is data security. This includes cryptography and data management. Having a good set of data can help in making the cloud a more secure place for customers. Almost every organization will invest on cryptographic techniques just to protect data that may otherwise be confidential. At the same time, these data need not be redundant because enterprises do not want to lose data, and they want to maintain data integrity.

2. Virtualization

The second essential component is virtualization. Since the cloud is technically a non-physical server, the goal is to make a server that will cater to different clients all across the Internet around the world. With virtual technology, this is possible. However, there are some issues that may be addressed under visualization, which include virtual machine management, data leakage, and isolation. Resources are shared among virtual machines in the cloud, but there are still precautions that need to be taken into consideration if you want security in the cloud.

3. Network Security

The third essential element of cloud hosting is network security because all transactions in the cloud are done via network communications. By having a good network security, privacy is ensured among cloud hosts and clients. Network security allows firewalling, which then allows virtual machines to be isolated from one another (thus preventing data leakages), as well as address filtering and porting.

4. Compliance

The fourth security essential of cloud hosting is the compliance. There must be measures to be followed in order to ensure that cloud hosts are safe to use, as well as to avoid copyright infringement and protect intellectual property. Without this feature, cloud hosting will not be organized and services will be lost. By complying with the standards, cloud hosts are able to reach its maximum potential simply because they are safe to use for the users.

5. Administration Control

The last security essential is mainly concerned on administration control. An administrator is required to handle cloud services. They are also the ones who monitor the progress of the cloud, its growth, as well as market and technology trends. They are essential in controlling security features and manipulating data. A data loss would mean poor governance for the side of the cloud host. At the same time, well-established standards can help maintain good relationship of cloud servers with its clients (in this case, the customers).

In the end, security is an essential part of cloud computing. However, maintaining all these security will be a challenge to enterprises, especially if they want to commit long-term with something that will protect their data. These are just some of the security essentials, but there are still others, especially the ones dealing with legal matters. They are also vital so that cloud hosting complies with the law, much like how intellectual properties are protected.

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Take Advatage Of Cloud Computing From Vmware

Vmware is the leading provider of virtualization and cloud infrastructure built with the sole aim of simplifying complexity and enabling more flexibility in the IT industry. Vmware refines the whole cloud computing technology; allowing individuals and businesses to effectively customize cloud model that will address their unique business needs. This service has become indispensable in many businesses with amazing quality control tools and reliable security platforms.

Vmware delivers their services with more than 25,000 partners. They have helped more than 250, 000 customers in achieving their desired freedom, low cost of production and reliable security in their businesses. While many businesses screaming for accuracy, faster response and adequate time management, Vmware provides them with simplified cloud computing technology through which they can create functional self-managed virtual infrastructure designed to serve their business needs.

Vmware actually lets you work on different operating systems at the same computer. For example you might run Windows XP on your PC and install Vista as well. Then with the VMWare Workstation you can change between the two systems just by opening the software.

With Vmware, you will enjoy virtualization security, automation and adequate management, interoperability, openness and many others. From creating your modem to accessing your data from anyplace in the world, Vmware will guide you through every step providing you with all you need to launch your business on the fast-lane.

How to Build a Virtualization Lab in VMware Workstation

Why build Virtualization Lab

The first reason of course is learn virtualization first hand. It’s one thing to watch it in a video or read a book about it and it’s much different and much more educational to do it for yourself . But you don’t have to spend $10,000 to do that. Building a virtualization lab can be really inexpensive not as hard as you might think. Besides with the Vmware Promo Codes you can save 20%. By building a Lab it will also prove that virtualization works as advertized. It’s great to hear from other people who have used it but it’s completely different to do it for yourself and see it with your own eyes. You’ll able to prove that virtualization works for your company’s applications, you can even convert one of your physical servers into a virtual server and run it in the lab to see that your company’s apps work for yourself. Finally, you might want to create a Virtualization Lab to prepare you for a certification so that you will have that hands-on knowledge.

Types of Virtual LAb

There are two ways to build a Virtualization Lab; either to build a Virtual or a Physical Virtualization Lab. Although this might get a little confusing, let’s start with first option. Literally, what this could be is taking the existing desktop or laptop computer that has a VT capable CPU and plenty of RAM to load to VMware Workstation which is a type 2 hypervisor at your existing operating system running on your computer, so for example if you’re running Windows 7 you would load VMware workstation on that and then you would build your virtual lab by creating virtual machines that run at VMware ESXi, vmware vcenter and perhaps even a virtual storage appliance or a VSA. Most people build, let’s say, to ESXi servers and a Windows 2008 Server that runs via where the center so you have a total of 3 virtual machines running VMWare workstation on your existing computer; so that’s how you build a virtual lab using something like VMware Workstation and this may seem like the utopian perfect scenario but there are a number of limitations to this.

If you have some more room for physical servers and you have some more money and you’d like some higher performance in more dedicated hardware, a better option is to build a physical virtualization lab. You get a couple of servers to build your physical virtual lab. With a physical lab like that I can do just about anything I want. I can make just about any VMware or Microsoft virtualization product that’s available today. There are many fewer limitations and you’re going to get much better performance. On the other hand, a lab like that might cost you between $3,000 to $5,000.

These are the two different ways to build a Virtualization Lab

Limitations to a Virtual Lab

The first downside of this type would be of course that the CPU on your desktop or laptop computer much be a 64-bit CPU with Intel BT or AMD V enabled. You’ll need at least 4Gb of RAM although you could run a single ESXi server in less than that to really make this a useful Lab I would recommend you have at least 4GB or more. That’s because every virtual machine you create is going to use up more and more of that RAM. Now, you can do this with VMWare ESXi VSphere but I can tell you up front that it won’t work with hyperV which must run on a physical server so you’re going to have to opt for a physical virtualization lab if you want to learn about hyperV. You won’t be able to power on a 64-bit virtual machine inside your virtualized ESXi server. So that’s called a “nested virtual machine” and a limitation is you can’t have nested 64-bit virtual machines. I know this is a little confusing because you have your host operating system, i.e. windows 7, you have your workstation underneath that you create a VMware ESXi machine which is 64-bit you can power that on and then you will create a virtual machien inside the ESXi server. That virtual machine all the way inside the ESXi server two layers a virtualization deep can only be 32-bit. You can make a 64-bit but you won’t be able to power on. You can only power on 32-bit. That’s where the major limitations of creating a virtual virtualization lab is. In fact even powering on a nested one, inside those ESXi servers, you’re going to find out that those will run really slow no matter how much hardware you throw at those machines.

VMware’s tolerance feature many not work when using a virtual virtualization lab; that’s because ti’s very hardware specific. Finaly performance, may suffer. You’re trying to do so many tasks with your existing desktop or laptop system even if you upgrade the RAM and you have a really beefy system you are still trying to run multiple virtual machines that are very resource intensive on that one system. So, just keep that in mine. It’s a great low cost option, it is portable – you can put on a laptop, you can take it with you on the road – you can demo virtualization , you don’t have to spend a lot of money on servers which take up a lot of room, create heat and use a lot of electricity. Also, it’s going to be lower performance, so just how those expectations up front when you start creating your lab.

Physical Servers

If you opt for a physical server, even if you are just going to get one dedicated server and then use that to build a virtual virtualization lab on, you have two options for those physical servers:

You could use a white box server which is a generic server which you build yourself or you have someone else build it for you. If you use a white box server, chances are you’ll get more value for money so you get a higher performance system but on the other hand that white box server isn’t going to be on the VMWare or Microsoft hardware compatibility list. So, you take the chance of getting that server put together and then the network interface card or the storage controller doesn’t work, you have to take those back, return them and get some different models that do work.

Option two is to get a Name-Brand server and if you are doing that very likely it will be on the hardware compatibility list, but you do need to check those list make sure that this server with its specific CPU and hardware interface cards are on the hardware compatibility list. Also make sure that they are even compatible with specific features; for example there are servers that are on VMWare’s hardware compatibility list and compatible with the Fault Tolerant feature.

Get New Gadget for Your PC Installed by Certified Remote Computer Support Techies

live tech supportHave you ever gotten frustrated while reading through installation instructions for the new piece of hardware or software you just bought for your PC? Have you ever called customer service only to be put into an automated phone ring and bounced around for an hour before you finally found the answer to your problem? Have you ever bought a brand new piece of PC hardware only to find out that it was so intricate and tricky to install that you had to hire someone to come out and do it? Finally, have you ever paid a big box department store a small fortune to send one of their techies out to your house to install your latest PC gadget? If you answered yes to any of those questions, we have a solution for you that will eliminate your ever having to endure any of these hardships ever again.

Tech Support To Install Your New PC Hardware

Using a new service, you can now access tech support to install hardware or software for your computer through remote support. This tech support is an innovative system where you are connected to a live tech support agent through your internet connection, and they walk you through the entire installation process. In fact, the best part about this process is that this system has the capability to make a slave copy of your system. This means that once you have established an internet connection with your tech support agent, they will actually take control of your PC and complete the installation for you. All you will need to do is plug in the physical gadget or insert the software CD into the drive, and your certified remote computer support techie will take care of the rest.

This system has been in use for many years at the corporate level because of so many businesses which operate on multiple campuses. They could have one centralized IT department and still provide personalized service to locations all around the world through the internet. This same capability is now available to individuals using this service. You can take advantage of this service as a small business or as an individual and receive a very cost effective full service IT solution.

The pricing structures for this service also make it very affordable for both small businesses and individuals. As an individual you can pay per phone call to have your gadgets installed, or you can purchase a monthly plan as a small business. Both of these options give you pricing flexibility depending on your monthly volume of calls and your need for IT support. If you are a small business and you have the need for specialized support, you can actually sign a contract where you will have a dedicated tech support rep who will be your main contact for any of your IT needs. Rather than calling a generic line with your problems you can get your designated rep to solve your problems. This system will cut down on your hassle and will allow you to be much more productive at your business without having to waste precious time on IT projects.

This system is also useful as an individual because you can avoid the costly services offered by big box retailers. These services are very overpriced and do not provide the personalized level of care that you can receive from a certified remote computer support techie. This solution could free up your time to work on more valuable products and overall improve your quality of life. You will not be disappointed after trying this service and you will likely wonder what you ever did without it!

Four Data Recovery Applications

We store more data on our phones that ever before, which also means that we’re losing more data than ever before. Mobile devices are prone to lose data since they become the target of thieves; apart from that, many smartphones and tablets get lost every day. People fail to realize that just like for laptops and desktops, there are plenty of data recovery options for all kinds of smart phone and many of them won’t cost you a dime. We’ve listed four of the best data recovery and data backup apps for smartphones that appeal to a wide range of smartphone users.

Dumpster – The Beginner

Have you ever accidentally deleted the wrong picture or video on your phone and realized that there’s no way for you to ever retrieve it again? Did you also realize that if you did the exact same thing on your computer, you would just go to your computer’s recycle bin to retrieve that file with no problem. Dumpster is exactly that, and it gives you the option to recover your files in the event you delete something accidentally. It’s a great option for those who struggle a bit with technology or have a limited data plan and need a data recovery option that doesn’t require an internet connection. Additionally, it’s completely free so there’s really no reason at all not to have this one on your phone.

Carbonite – The Small Business Owner

Carbonite which has made waves as a data backup solution for businesses also has a mobile app for smartphone users. It will automatically backup all of your smartphone’s photos and videos, and protect valuable and secure data from others if it is lost or stolen. The strongest feature of Carbonite is its ability to backup all files and information across multiple devices to one consolidated and clean location. This makes it more of an ideal option for businesses or organizations that store large amounts of information that can easily get messy without some help.

Genie9 – The Tech Savvy User

If you happen to be a Windows user, and enjoy using software for backups then the Genie Backup Home 9.0 is a software package you should try out. Unlike other backup and data recovery options, Genie offers full, incremental and mirror backups, which give you a lot more flexibility if you plan on transferring files or information to a new location. They also provide backups for information not used by the common computer user, including ftp/ftps and networks. All of this comes with a beautiful and easy to use smartphone app where you can monitor backups and information on the go. This is an ideal app for the tech savvy or tech professional who may require a bit more out of their data backup plans than most users.

Lookout – For Everyone

I’m personally a huge fan and happy user of this data backup app as you get quite a lot out of it for just the free version. Data recovery of your contacts isn’t a problem with Lookout, as they automatically store your contacts in their database where you have the ability to download them at any time. Lookout can also automatically locate your phone on a map with an approximate address if it is lost, and if you know it is nearby, you can set it to “scream” which will make your phone generate a loud siren noise even if it is set on silent. If you believe your phone has been stolen, you can also lock and/or wipe the phone of its data. Lookout will also scan all the apps you download and other downloads you make on your phone for viruses, and inform you if they believe something is malicious. Again, all of this comes with the free version of the phone. By upgrading to premium, you are able to save photos and videos to their database along with call logs, and you can connect a network of phones to the plan, which makes it ideal for businesses. With Lookout’s great free features, and the option to go above and beyond what they already include, it’s a great option for the everyday smartphone user or a small business.

 

5 Ways Cloud Storage Can Boost Your Marketing Efforts

At first glance, it may seem like cloud computing is best left to the IT department, while marketing mavens concentrate on getting out the company message and building a brand. However, cloud resources can actually enhance marketing efforts through accessibility, security, document organization and recovery and ease of sharing, according to direct response strategist Conrad Flynn.

Cloud-based systems offer secure storage for data you can access anywhere, at any time. Access control settings keep material only accessible to those who need to see it, which can be very important when developing marketing around a new product. Additionally, the cloud’s scalability means you can harness these capabilities without overspending and purchase a larger package as enterprise needs grow, according to Paranet.

1. File Backup

Data loss can seriously compromise business. Keep important files secure by creating a cloud-based backup. In case of hardware failure, file corruption or natural disaster —- say, a fire ruins your offices — you’ll be able to regain those important files. With so many cloud-based backup providers, check out audits including Dropbox critiques and Backup Genie services and reviews to choose the right option for your business. Many providers also offer automatic backup options, so you don’t have make time to manually transfer files on a regular basis.

2. Access Files Anywhere, Any Time

Need to pitch your logo idea at a business meeting in another city? Don’t worry about saving files to a flash drive or bringing print materials. Simply sign in to your cloud storage service, and show the files to your client. This saves time and encourages increased sharing of ideas, Flynn reports. Plus, you can even access files from your mobile phone. Mobility is key in today’s economy.

3. Share More Quickly and Easily

Need to get a client’s approval of a file that’s too large to upload via email? Online cloud storage offers an elegant and free solution. Upload the large file or files to your chosen cloud provider, grab the share link or set the item-level permissions levels, and email the client with the file. Again, as Flynn notes, you’ll save time and make idea sharing and feedback even easier for all parties involved. As an added bonus, you’ll never have to wonder if the file made it past a spam filter or firewall.

4. Collaborate with Team Members

Many cloud storage programs have collaborative tools, including chat capability and groups. Use these functions to share materials across a group, and ensure everyone is seeing the same set of documents and working together. This offers easy versioning control, since all materials are kept in one location accessible to all involved. As CNET notes, the cloud is increasingly becoming the expected model of sharing among companies. Most cloud-based applications will also track changes, so it’s easy to see what was changed, when it was changed, and — if notes were used — why it was changed.

5. Quickly Organize to See What’s Working — And What’s Not

With the organizing functions offered by cloud storage systems, you can sort and store project files together. No longer will you have to hunt for that one image file that has gone missing. Plus, draft materials and abandoned ideas can be easily identified and marked as such to avoid future confusion. Archived files can quickly be found and consulted on an as-needed basis.

If you’re not using the cloud to organize and share your materials, consider this the right time to adopt a cloud-based solution. After all, both colleagues and customers are beginning to expect it, as CNET notes. There’s no universal cloud storage solution, but if you carefully catalog your needs and how you plan to use the cloud, you can easily research and adopt the right solution for your company.

Have you used cloud storage in your marketing efforts? Share your experience in the comments.

22

Cloud Storage: Making Use of Virtual Storage Space

It is inevitable that one day your hard drive will crash completely. When this occurs, all of the data contained on it will be lost unless you pay expensive data retrieval fees from a technician. Instead of having everything of value to you erased for good, one should consider utilizing cloud storage space. Cloud storage usually is provided by a service that allows users to upload data files for later retrieval from their servers. Even though these services are not free if you desire to save large amounts of data, the price you will pay is much less in comparison to the event of losing everything.

Everyday Cloud Storage Uses

For minimal storage space users, there are a number of services that allow you to create free accounts and upload files for later retrieval in varying amounts. Many times, this free storage space will not exceed a few gigs at most. Another drawback is that the amount of time that the data will remain on the server will be limited as well. If small files and those intended for transfer sake is the main intent of the user, this may not be a problem. For larger applications, such as storage space needed by businesses, a paid account will most likely be in order.

Cloud Storage Costs

Many cloud storage services charge monthly fees to users, but usually they do not cost much more than a few dollars per month. For unlimited storage space, the monthly service fees may cost a bit more, but could save a small business in the event of a crash on their end. Just imagine having all tax information stored only on a small business’s hard drive, only to find that the information has been lost indefinitely. This could mean countless hours of going back through paperwork to rebuild this type of information and entering it back into documents for record’s sake. Even a year’s worth of cloud storage space service fees are minimal in comparison to the manpower needed to accomplish this, or even for the one time fee that would be charged to retrieve the information from the crashed hard drive. Not only that, but human error could occur when trying to rush to recreate the record files to compensate for the loss.

Other Reasons to Store in the Clouds

Another great thing about cloud storage services is the fact that they utilize multiple servers. This means that your files are not located in a single place, but many at the same time all over the world. Even if a small network of hard drives has been configured at a small business, the event of having the actual hardware stolen or damaged is still a very real possibility to consider. Another thing to consider is the fact that one could store private informative files that could otherwise be viewed and stolen by others with access to your computer. Usually, cloud storage services are on top of the necessity for in depth encryption, hence their fees for monthly service. With all the unused storage space in cyberspace, one would be a fool not to take full advantage.

7 Rules of Data Backups

Backing up data is very important, especially for small businesses, or for pertinent information. Depending on the importance of the files, the size of the threat and of the need for security, different steps need to be taken, to ensure that the data is not compromised by hackers or competitors. Many companies in the past who had data compromised suffered financially and had a very long recovery; in addition, they had public relations nightmares. Now if you are a person backing up photos of your vacations or mp3s, the same care does not need to be taken as sensitive customer information like bank details, passwords etc.

Regularity

Back up your data often, weekly, or even daily if needed. This ensures you get the most fresh data back, if catastrophe were to strike. There are plenty of programs that will do this for you. It is a good idea to set the data backup at night, or when there is no other activity in the office. This can help avoid slowdowns on the network, or on the flow of data if it is a shared hard drive. Daily backups are essential for any serious company.

Automate

Automate the process, as said before, many programs will allow you to automate the backup process. Even allowing you to set the time of day, or time of week. This takes the guesswork out, and allows IT staff to concentrate on other things. It is important to make sure the backups are going through as they were set up to do.

Replicate

It is of course a good idea to have dual hard drives when backing up. That way, if one of the hard drives fail, you have the backup to go to. Not only that, but, ideally you would backup off site as well. Either to another office location or server, or using an online service. Though be careful with an online service, go with an established one with adequate security. Offsite replication is key, in case of fire or other disasters.

Test

Occasionally, go into the backup hard drive, and recover the data. See how easy it is to recover it. If the IT professional were on vacation, could the office figure out what to do. This is often overlooked as most people never actually have to access their backed up data.

Encryption

It is wise to encrypt your data, whether it is stored on a local hard drive or on the internet. Basic encryption will thwart most hackers, and it will reduce liability and PR problems if the data is compromised.

Backup Online

As said before, multiple places to store the data are important. Backing up data online is key. Find a well established online service that has good security and does not have a history of security breaches. This will truly ensure data is never lost, in case of a catastrophic situation.

Training

Have multiple people know how to access the backup, and how to initiate. Often the IT department is busy with other projects, it is important to cross-train a few people on how to access the data should a problem occur. It should not be difficult even for someone who is not trained in IT.

Data backups are not only important, they are necessary for any size company. Whether it be customer information, financial documents, or even employee information. If common sense rules are used there should never be a problem. Remember to no go cheap or lazy on this though, as one data breach could bring down a company that is not prepared.