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It’s 2021, and technology is all around us. It is now pretty normal to be surrounded by computers and other screens when you’re at the office, in the car, or at home. Since we’re living in a world of technology, most of our important documents, notes, and information are stored on electronic devices. Losing this information would be devastating…here are some simple ways to back up information on your computer, should there ever come a time when you’d need to retrieve it from another place. 

Datto backup appliance ($$$$$)

The gold standard for backups used to be the tape drive, but in the past decade it’s been superseded by backup appliances, the top of which is the Datto brand.  It’s basically a computer with a very large hard drive.  It backs up other computers on your network, stores them locally,  and sends copies out to the cloud.  In the event of a file loss, you can go to the backup prior to the loss and restore the file(s) needed.  

But here’s the killer part: if your entire server fails, you can spin up a backup as a virtual machine on your network!  Meaning your total downtime is maybe 30 minutes.  Granted, it’s not as fast as your real server, but it gets you back in business while we order a replacement machine.  When the new machine arrives, the Datto can write the live data to the new machine.  

Downside: it is *incredibly* expensive compared to everything else.  Contact your local Datto partner (hint: Regala Consulting is a Datto partner) if you’re interested in a minimal downtime backup solution.

Crashplan ($$)

For the price ($120/PC per year), Crashplan is hands down the best file backup solution out there.  It only backs up data files like pictures or Word Docs, can have problems backing up large, constantly in-use files (like Outlook .pst files), and can’t back up live database files.  But it backs up every 15 minutes (adjustable) to both a local hard drive (for speed) and to the cloud (for reliability).  And it keeps every version of the files it backs up.  So if you create a file on March 1, and make daily changes to it, then on November 1 realize you made a mistake in September that affected all downstream versions, you can go into Crashplan and restore the version of the file that was backed up before you made the mistake.  

Downside: in the event of a system failure, you would need to set up a temporary server to restore data to while awaiting a replacement machine.  When the new machine arrives, you’re looking at a full day (or more) to set up the machine and restore data.

Find it here: https://www.crashplan.com/en-us/

Local hard drive ($)

There are plenty of free/cheap backup programs that will back up to an inexpensive USB hard drive.  

The two main issues are:
* Laptop users are always disconnecting the USB drive, preventing the backups from running
* If the backup stops working, you would never know unless you check the backup software (which no one does on a regular basis).

There is no “Best for Everyone” option, all you can do is think realistically about your needs and budget, and have a business continuity/disaster recovery plan… It’s always good to be prepared! Contact Regala Consulting today to find out more about BCDR/backup solutions, and we’ll set you up with one that works best for your budget, workflow, and organization.