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What is your backup strategy?

May 24th, 2007

Backing up your important files is something everyone knows that they should do but not too many people actually do it. My backup strategy at the moment consists of regularly burning DVDs or copying files to my portable HDD. Definitely far better that not backing up at all but not exactly bullet proof. I am a firm believer that you should try and automate as much as possible because when things are left to humans they don’t always get done.

I have looked into online backup solutions, especially www.mozy.com where you download a client to your PC and it continually backs up your stuff. The main issue I have with an online solution is security. Mozy say that they use 128-bit (during transport) and 448-bit Blowfish encryption (on our server) so it sounds pretty secure. So maybe I would be willing to backup my digital photos but I would still be a bit slow to backup any files which I don’t want other people viewing (letters, documents, source code, etc.) Obviously there are huge benefits of the online backup strategy, your data backup is held offsite for one.

Another online storage solution is www.box.net – they have just released an MS Office integrated toolbar to allow you to save your documents directly online.

What is your current backup strategy? Do you use an online backup solution and if so do you worry about security ?

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  1. David
    February 12th, 2008 at 10:20 | #1

    My research on this is extensive (albeit 6 months old)
    I could find no online backup company in the golden pages and found any amount of them on google.ie
    They all appear to be small owner operated bar Eircom.
    The Eircom option was not on as I simply couldnt get through to anyone who knew what online backup was.
    As for the rest of the list. A large number had phone numbers which rang out and message services which were not responded to. Even among the ones I got through to, few calls were answered by someone who could answer my questions and I ws often met with “they are out”, “he isnt here at the moment” etc etc. Each successful contact was like an interview with the Police. They wanted to know all about me and my company before answering any questions. I like the concept of online backup but I dont like the industry. I read an article about a particular product developed in Asia which many small online backup companies use and which was not recommended. When asked if they use this product, most evaded the issue, others confirmed they do and only two assured me they dont.

    These are (alphabetically)
    http://www.backupanytime.com
    and
    http://www.centraldatabank.com

    They did take my call promptly, answer my questions to my satisfaction and offere me a trial. I have declined for the moment as this market seems to be in its infancy in Ireland and I think I will wait. In the meantime I am left with the ongoing menial task of backing up manualy.
    dc

  2. February 12th, 2008 at 13:30 | #2

    Thanks David for the comprehensive comment. I totally agree that the online backup market is not really well developed and especially not in Ireland. My main issue with online backup utilities is the security so whether the firm is in Ireland or not that issue will exist. I just thought of one more point though, data protection laws between the US and EU differ so how does that effect EU citizens backing up their private info on a US server? Perhaps you right to be concentrating on finding a solution in the Irish market.

  3. Peter Cloonan
    May 9th, 2008 at 03:20 | #3

    Sean
    You are correcty about anomolies between EU and US data protection legislation. They differ considerable in scope and enforcement. It would appear that an Irish company is entitled to backup outside of Ireland once they are backing up within Ireland also. Any unencrypted data leaving the state has to be with the permission of those the data relates to. This has resulted in Irish companies requesting backup in Ireland only and being prepared to pay a premium for it. I agree with all of the points in the preceeding posts. I do believe online backup is the way forward but some clarity and straightforward benchmarking in the industry would help.

    Peter

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