Online vs. Offline Media Backup: Your Dilemma Addressed

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Backup is one of the key essences of any organisation’s data protection, management and security continuity. There is no argument regarding that point. However, the real concern here is which option to choose while considering media backup. As a start, one should ascertain whether online or offline media backup is the best option for your organisation, or a combination of both.

However, before you arrive at the decision, it is important that you understand all aspects of both online and offline media backup. To begin, let’s review online storage:

Why opt for online storage?

An online backup service offers you the advantage of storing organisational data at an offsite location. This process ensures that your data remains secure and readily available even in the case of your local disks are stolen or your premises damaged by flood or fire.

More and more emphasis is being put on cloud computing. Although it is advantageous for your organisation to stay up to date with the latest technology, there are some concerns you should be clear about when opting for an online media backup solution:

  • Will it immediately work on the new and altered files?
  • Will the service allow syncing or sharing of the organisational data?
  • Can the service provider backup even those files which are in use?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How much storage space do you need?

Having answered those questions, let’s move on to the benefits:

Why opt for offsite storage?

Offsite storage is also called ‘vaulting’ and it involves backing up of all critical data onto storage media which is removable. This allows you to send it offsite to a secure, specialist storage facility. Your options are numerous; from tape to optical media. This process is hardware dependent. Throughout this process, you can also send your backups to an offsite facility either electronically or remotely.

The advantage of offsite storage is that most offsite storage facilities and storage equipment are designed as to withstand the ravages of most natural calamities such as fires, floods and dust.

Now that we have considered the basic aspects of both types of media backup, the question now is:

Which type of media backup should you rely on?

All organisations have different requirements; however the following factors are likely to affect your decision:

  • Regulations applicable in your country and to your industry
  • Secure storage space at your facilities
  • Costs and resources available to you to
  • Outsourced partners available near you
  • Amount of storage required and frequency of access to data
  • Risk of exposure to flood, fire, dust, terrorist activities etc

You will need to select a method which suits your organisation, however, whichever option you choose, be sure to do your due diligence so that you can demonstrate you have taken the necessary steps to mitigate risk in the event of a disaster.