Protecting your data: Is your small business server backed up?

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Protecting your data: Is your small business server backed up?

Acronis has new software for keeping a local backup of the files on your server, as well as a copy stored in the cloud.

Most of our previous articles about cloud backup has been about protecting personal computers and things like phones and tablets.

But if there's a server in your workplace it also needs to be backed up.
  • As we've previously mentioned, on-site backup is great because it provides the fastest recovery. 
  • Off-site backup comes into its own in the event of a disaster such as fire, flood or burglary. Backing up to the Internet, or "cloud backup" is one of the easiest and most automated forms of off-site backup.
Typically, these functions are handled by different pieces of software.
If you don't have a server, you might use the software that comes with your external backup drive or NAS for on-site backup, and for off-site backup Mozy or Jungle Disk (Jungle Disk actually stores your data in Amazon or Rackspace cloud storage).
If you have a server, Windows Small Business Server includes a backup feature called Windows Server Backup and there's also MozyPro for servers and Jungle Disk Server Edition.
Backing up a single server
For businesses running a single server, Acronis has just announced a product called Acronis Small Office: Server Cloud Backup that provides on- and off-site backup in one package.
The software lets you completely back up a server to a USB drive or network attached storage device, and also lets you back up your most important files (think customer lists, accounting files, and so on) to Acronis Cloud Storage.
Backing up an entire server to the cloud is possible, but very expensive in terms of ISP charges - it makes more sense to back up just your own files, and rely on a local backup if you need to restore the operating system and applications. In the worst case you can always reinstall them from scratch. 
An important feature is that Acronis Small Office: Server Cloud Backup includes Acronis Universal Restore technology, so if necessary you can recover the system to different hardware or even to a virtual machine. Unless you're unlucky enough to lose a server in its first year, any replacement is likely to be a newer model.
Without such technology (which is not exclusive to Acronis, as other vendors have their equivalents), your complete backup of a server - or a regular PC, for that matter - is unlikely to work on the replacement.
So the product aims to cover both bases:
  • In the event of a catastrophic server failure you can restore your files from the on-site backup once you've purchased a replacement server
  • And if your on-site backup is destroyed along with the server when a river decided to flow through your office, you can buy a new server, install your applications, and then recover your data files from the cloud.
So how much storage space do you get?
Acronis Small Office: Server Cloud Backup subscriptions cost $499 per year for 350GB of cloud storage or $749 for 1TB. Discounts are offered for two or three-year subscriptions. There's a free trial subscription (50GB for 60 days) is offered so you can check the product is right for your circumstances before parting with any money.
If you are wondering, these prices compare favourably with Amazon S3, where 1TB of storage costs around $100 per month excluding any charges for moving data in or out of the system.
But keep in mind, with Amazon S3 - or Rackspace Cloud Files - you pay for the storage you actually use, not a flat rate for 'up to' so many gigabytes.
Ready to dig deeper on this topic? Read about how you can backup a lot of data online.
Also, here is our guide to the best backup methods if you work from home.
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