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offsite backup

ezekuel asked
What would be the easiest way of setting up an offsite backup solution?
Is this a simple process?
Would you recommend it?
Watch Question

[What would be the easiest way of setting up an offsite backup solution?]
The easiest way is to avail the services of companies offering offsite backup business.

[Is this a simple process?]
If you have the right tools/software, I would say Yes.

[Would you recommend it? ]
If you cannot afford to loss data, then this is a must.

There are lots of companies you can choose from like:


I am familiar with many different backup options and the easiest by far is an offsite backup solution like carbonite (www.carbonite.com) or mozy (www.mozy.com)  they are extremely inexpensive ($50ish per year) and they backup automatically with an internet connection. The only drawback is the time it may take to restore the backup since you must download it over conventional broadband connection.  I use carbonite at home and at work and it has performed exactly as needed.  I believe Mozy works in a comparable fashion.  I searched the we for coupon codes carbonite and found 3 years online backup for $99 no limit on backup size.  I have nearly 20 years in the IT industry and I believe you cannot beat this solution unless downtime is a major concern.  With a 20 GB backup you can be up in 8 hours.  For a small business or home this is fine but if you are in an operation where and hour down is very expensive you may want to research $150+ month disaster recovery solutions .  I hope this helps.


Thanks very much very helpful. So I'm assuming the guarantee no data loss. Do they handle backing up exchange server while still running?
Craig BowmanIT Services Manager

Most companies do offer exchange server backup.  Make sure they cover all your needs before getting involved with them.

Here is an example of one that does Exchange Server backup as well as Individual mailbox backup
Carbonite uses VSS (Volume Shadow Service) to backup files while they are in use, I assume Mozy uses something similar.  There is explorer shell integration and files backed up or not are color coded so you can easily see if a file is backed up or not.  In carbonite files backed up have a green dot when viewed in explorer and files not backed up have an orange dot.  both services offer free trials to evaluate.  You can expect around 4GB upload capacity daily.
There's two methods for offsite backup. The one mostly written about so far is online backup. This is the easiest and most convenient, but is dependent on your internet connection. If you have a lot of data to backup, your internet may not be fast enough make online backup feasible.

Mozy Pro Servers specifically mentions "SQL, Exchange, SharePoint and network drive support".

I don't know of any online backup service that guarantee zero data loss. However, many may offer features that will mitigate data loss, such as storing copies of your backup in multiple geographical locations.

Security is another consideration. All online backup services I know of will encrypt the backup before transmission. However, some services may retain the ability to access your encrypted backup, in case you forget your password or something similar. This is convenient, but could be a security risk if the backup service ever gets compromised. They may offer an option to use a "private" encryption key the only you have, which would make the backup more secure, but also would mean the backup would be unrecoverable if you lose the key.

The other option for offsite backup is to make a local copy onto a physical device or media, then move the physical backup offsite. This option is attractive when you have quite a lot of data to backup every night. This can be as simple as plugging in a USB drive, backing up, then taking the drive home, if this is a small business. If this is a larger company, or one that simply needs a more formal setup, you can use a backup service like jmcmillan227 mentioned, such as an offsite tape backup vault:

Typically, you may have a lot of data to initially backup, but then the daily incremental backups are relatively small. To help with the initial large backup, many online backup services offer a method of sending them a physical backup in order to sidestep having to upload all the data over the internet, typically for an additional free. Mozy Pro Server calls their version of this service Data Shuttle:

Likewise, when restoring, some online services will ship your backup to you, again for an additional fee. Mozy calls this media restores: