Data backups and redundancy schemes: which data protection is best?

Data backups are vital for any business, to ensure that downtime is minimised and information is protected and restored in a rapid timeframe.

There are many ways to protect your data, with backup and redundancy schemes the most popular.

These two schemes are very different to each other, each business has to decide which one is the best option for them.

We run the rule over both backup and redundancy schemes and analyse the differences so you can make an informed decision over which one is right for your enterprise.

What are backup schemes?

Backups are essentially that, a backup of the data on your hard drives.

This means that if your information is lost or corrupted, you can restore it from a previous backup of all of your data.

This means you should do regular backups to ensure that the information you have is as close to current as possible.

There are many ways in which data can be lost, including natural disasters, theft or damage to the hard drives and other IT equipment at your business.

This is why onsite backup schemes are not always the best option, because they are likely to be damaged, lost or stolen along with your regular drives.

Off-site, cloud-based backup schemes are the best option because the data is housed separately and can be used to rebuild your systems should the work case scenario occur.

What are redundancy schemes?

While backup schemes are copies of your information stored elsewhere, redundancy schemes are designed to prevent downtime by using hard drives in an array.

A common redundancy feature that can be built into servers and Network Attached Storage (NAS) boxes is a Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID).

The way this works is that data is simultaneously stored across multiple disk drives. That way if there is an issue, a virtual machine fails or any number of hard disk failure occur, another drive can kick in and replace the failed component.

This means you won’t have expensive downtime and your systems will continue to function in the advent of an internal failure.

Which data protection method is right for you?

This really comes down to how well equipped your business is to handle downtime.

Backup schemes offer a point-in-time restoration, but this can take hours or in some cases days to restore, depending on the volume of data.

Redundancy schemes can allow for seamless operation in the advent of an internal system failure, but the risk is that all of the data is housed on the same network.

In a major disaster, a RAID system is not going to allow you to keep functioning as a business.

Ultimately, a combination of both systems is the best way to ensure that you don’t suffer data loss while minimising downtime.

A redundancy scheme will ensure isolated failures will not stop your business from moving forward, while strong, cloud-based backup solutions ensure you have a point-in-time recovery point for when a major disaster occurs and your redundant solution is no longer available.

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