Small Business Backup Drives Explained

Larrymey HawkinsDr. Larrymey Hawkins PhD
Backing up data is essential for any office small or large. Most think that a simple USB drive will suffice. Even the USB drives themselves display words like backup.  

Most novices will ask themselves the question “Will this work for my business also?” More often than not it won’t.

Now hold on IT crowd - before you chime in - let me explain. In this article I am specifically speaking about small to medium size business and let’s face it the average substandard made USB drive just won’t do for many reasons.
Single drive failure is one reason and data corruption being another.  This is caused by repeatedly plugging in a USB drive and not properly dismounting. That’s where the NAS (NSS) comes into play. It has dual drives running a raid as to prevent hard drive failure on the backup device its self also USB drives go to sleep and the wake function is not as reliable as the wake function on a proper NAS device.  

The USB drive you have had for years may work, but you have to ask yourself, is the single drive installed worn and do you want to trust your one and only backup to a single drive.  

You should have a server no matter how small on at least a raid 1 (mirroring) to protect against HD failure and data corruption to start with; then, have some sort of NAS device or a USB device that has multiple drives to protect even further.  

This is what we call layered redundancy.  It is common in the IT industry to do this to virtually make the chances of data loss due to hardware failure in the %0.1 chance of data loss range.  

Each layer of RBT (Resilient Backup Topology) redundancy provides the industry standard percentage of %38 reduction. You start with %65 on a brand new USB standard hardware single drive back up , no life wear on the drive puts you at %27 likely hood of data loss. The one you have after years of plug and unplug without proper mount/demount procedures causing fragments, gives the drive a lower reduction percentage.

A new raided NAS (Plugged into a UPS) carries a %76 reduction rate because of the multiple drives within and the auto maintenance features of the software located on the drive. NAS drive with multiple drives as an internal backup to the device itself puts you at -%11. The negative percentage is where you should start a backup plan out at because of time usage and wear and tear.

 Every year that passes per drive you subtract %5 for regular usage %8 for moderate and %10 for heavy.  Moderate usage is what the average USB drive suffers because not many people demount the hardware properly.  

Of course there are many other factors; temperature where the drive is stored accidents such as dropping the drive including power issues such as brown outs and spikes. There are many offsite backup options, also provided by many different companies, many of which are affordable.

And for those who want true protection against data loss check into cloud options for offsite data housing and collaboration spaces. This way the data isn’t on the local server hardware to begin with.  Ask your IT department about your current backup strategy and see if your company can be doing more to prevent data loss.

I hope this article has helped clear up some of the questions you may have has about backups.  Remember you can never have too many backups.

Larrymey Hawkins
Cloud 9 Computing L.L.C.
Larrymey HawkinsDr. Larrymey Hawkins PhD

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