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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Data back-up for computer systems

Like many businesses our computer system is backed up. This ensures that we able to restore vital information in the event of a computer failure or other problem which disables or destroys our servers or desktop/laptops.

We have always backed up regularly and then taken a copy of the back-up off site for security of data. Recently the system proved fallible because one person thought another person had done the back-up and to cut a long story short, no one had done it. Our business was at risk because we only had a week old copy off site. Fortunately nothing happened.

I decided that we couldn't rely on luck and next time we might not be so lucky.
My new bank, Barclays, was offering an automated back-up system, where the entire server was backed up and then an incremental back-up is taken daily and automatically; this means that all our data is available to restore and there is no element of human interaction required.

Is the data secure? Yes, it is encrypted to the same level as credit cards, 128-bit SSL encryption on transfers, 256-bit AES encryption on storage. It is mirrored to another data-centre for additional security.

No one else can access our data, not even the data-centre so we know that it meets our strict data requirements. It is also available to restore, if or when, we need it.

The first data save did take rather a long time, overnight in fact, but the incremental back-up is quick as it only saves changed files.
Is this expensive? No surprisingly it isn't and if or when we really need to restore data in an emergency it will be worth every penny.

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