Saturday, 2 May 2015

How Easy Backing Up Data Has Become with Cloud Computing

Backup Need Not Be A Chore

Over the years many of our clients have only started to take backup seriously once they experience data loss or a disaster. There is no need to really discuss the importance of performing a backup as everyone knows this. In the past if a laptop was not connected to the office network it could not be backed up. And as expected, very important data may well be located on a non-connected device. So when that device is lost, stolen or simply damaged this can cost your business big time!  Moreover, if you were out of the office and needed to recover a file this would also be impossible because you were not connected to the office network or not the IT administrator. Mobile devices with business data and photos on are also now an important device to backup and manage. 

Cloud Based Backup Changes Everything

Cloud Backup solutions have changed the ease at which backups can be performed. Simply open an account with a provider, download an agent for your PC (Windows or MAC), and within minutes you can be backing up your data.

Cloud Solutions offers Backup2Cloud.  Simply register your interest and an account will be opened for you and an email sent with your login details and password.

Follow the instructions in the email and login to the portal. First step is to install the software agent of choice. You can select from Windows, MAC, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android, and Windows Servers.

The installation is only a few clicks and within 60 seconds your backup agent will be installed. The next step is to review the default settings.

Keeping the default settings should work for you however you can adjust the performance and bandwidth sharing, to continue or stop backing up when you are working and how many versions of files to keep. Source folders can be selected however by default the following are selected; My Documents, Desktop, Internet Explorer Favorites, Outlook, Windows Mail. Google and Firefox Favorites are also included if the agent identifies these are installed.
In addition Proxy server settings defined, block out periods (when not to perform a backup), exclude certain file formats, and to manage the open files plugin. Normal files such as PDF, Doc, XLS, HTML, JPEG, TIFF etc will be backed up. Outlook PST, Quickbooks, MYOB and other files are also supported. 

Block Out period could be set for Monday to Friday say 9:00 am to 6:00 pm so files are not backing up when you are working. Alternatively you can enjoy Continual Data Protection by simply leaving the backup running all the time. 

The agent will perform a scan of your PC to identify all the files that need to be backed up. This process will take a few minutes and then the backup itself will start encrypting the files with 448 bit Blowfish Encryption and transferring them to the Cloud for safe keeping.  

You would only backup your data rather than all your programs or applications. You may have 10-15 GB's of data including your Outlook PST file. This would take more than 24 hours to send to the Cloud. However once the first backup has been performed only changed and new files need be sent to the Cloud. 

Reports are available on how the backup has been running and warning emails will be received if no backup has been perform within the past couple of  days. 

The User Portal allows the user to check their own backup data, check if any errors have occurred and download any files stored in the Cloud. While the locally installed agent allows a data restore to be performed, a quick download can be performed from the User Portal. In addition files or folders can be shared with others if required. The ability to recover data by yourself, when and where required is a big advantage over the traditional backup methods. 

"All backed up data is automatically stored outside your office which is the best way" 

The User Portal is well designed and easy-to-use. It is possible to remove files from the Cloud only via the User Portal or share files with others.

The price of the Backup2Cloud solution does depend on the storage space in the Cloud. If you are storing files in the Cloud that are no longer required these can be removed. The backup agent provides a Clean Up Wizard which is designed to search for files that are no longer on your computer, but are still being stored on the Cloud.  You can then choose to either remove these files from storage, or keep them intact for future restores.  This helps you “clean up” your online storage space, and effectively lower your monthly cost.

"No point backing up if you cannot restore!"

Restoring data must be performed with ease if the solution is going to get the thumbs up. Backup2Cloud offers file downloads via the User Portal or via the agent a Restore Utility is available to allow the files or folders to be selected for restore. This is a great way to migrate data to a new laptop by simply restoring all the data from the old laptop. While the applications still need to be installed correctly, moving the data across becomes an easy option.  Chinese named documents are supported; backed up and restore without any trouble. 

"All backed up data is stored with military grade encryption at a data center in Asia"

Agent-less Backup. If you are running a Windows server in your office then the Windows Server agent should be downloaded and installed. This will allow you to create backup sets for Files, Exchange, SQL, SharePoint and VMware ESX. A primary Windows server can be used to backup Windows PCs, Terminal Server Desktops, and other servers without installing the agent locally on the machine. A very useful approach for an IT manager. A laptop and mobile phone may be the only devices where an agent need be installed otherwise everything can be controlled from a single Windows server.

For an easy to use and understand backup solution for small and mid-sized businesses go no further than Backup2Cloud powered by Data Deposit Box. Pricing starts from USD$19.99 for 60GB of data. Visit for pricing details. Pricing is not based on users. It is based on storage space required. This means several computers or devices can download the backup agent and start backing up. This can include your office Windows PC, laptop, MAC at home, and your iPhone.

Is it time you finally start to protect your business data?

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