All Clouds Are Not Created Equal: Part I

How long could you live without your accounts receivable?

Losing data is one of the most catastrophic events that any company can face, yet this potential event does not get the airplay in most business strategy meetings that it deserves.

Before you pay for a cloud backup service, it is critical that you take the time to review your environment and ask yourself some BIG questions.

Backups are usually the last thing on most people’s mind. Many backup solutions promise to be a “set it and forget” operation. Wrong. What is the best way to think of it? Backups are not a crockpot, they’re risotto: you have to constantly keep your eye on it. Some customers back up every 15 minutes, every hour, or once a day (and some clearly not at all). 

What type of data are you backing up?

What type of data do you have? Is it unstructured data or structured data? Does your information live in a file folder or inside of an application? The TYPE of data will determine what type of backup system is needed and whether you need to engage someone to monitor, manage, and guard your backups.

To make sure that we are all on the same page, unstructured data is anything that goes into a file folder. This includes word docs, excel sheets, images, and video. Size is not important here. Consider this: you can have critical word documents for a law firm that is the entire history of the organization in less than a 100 GB file (100 GB of data is 10 minutes of raw HD footage).

Structured Data lives in databases. Your QuickBooks data is a simple example. If you’re in an industry that shares huge files or databases with a lot of hands in the pot (advertising, accounting, architecture, music and film), this is when you need to call in the big guns.

For the tech industry, GitHub is a perfect example of “structured data.” GitHub is a code repository system that allows multiple developers to contribute code and review each other’s work. When building an application, the initial architect builds the logic. Other developers then follow and design portions of the app with updated code. It’s critical that your backup solution takes into account the ever changing database, frequently capturing changes throughout the workday.

How long could you live without your financials: hours billed, invoices, or payment information? One of our clients is a construction company that uses Sage 300 (formally Timberline) for job estimating and costing. It runs their whole operation based on an SQL (Structured Query Language) database, and they benefit greatly from a tight, safe cloud backup plan. Two weeks of data loss would be catastrophic for their business.

Once you determine your business’s type of data, you have to identify the length of time you can tolerate a loss.

Part II: How Long Can You Live Without Your Stuff?

Georg Dauterman is the President of Valiant Technology, a New York-based Managed Service Provider specializing in solutions for creative industries. Early in his career, Georg worked in the IT departments...

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