New Back Up Solution for a small business

I just moved our CRM and email to the cloud and thus they are already getting backed up.  I'd like to get away from the traditional tape back-ups I've used up to this point.  I was just given a quote for an inhouse+cloud solution = 4TB Buffalo TeraStation for $569 plus online backup/ disaster recovery with CloudSafe for $299/ month.

The thing is, I'm already totally maxing out my IT budget.  Since I've moved our email and CRM to the cloud, I've got less than 150GB (of mostly word, excel and pdf files) that need to be backed up.

Does anyone have thoughts on a less expensive solution that might be a better fit?
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Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
I rather specialize in backup solutions that provide me with daily reports.  With Cloud storage, this gets to be a bit interesting because folks generally "trust" the Cloud services to do their jobs at both ends.  Perhaps that's justified.  Perhaps not.  Surely physical separation is an important part of backup systems and Cloud services provide that much for sure.  But, there is generally no "backup" process that you can monitor to generate reports.  And, diversely stored files *will* generate backup failures for both important and unimportant reasons.

If you have multiple sites with reasonable bandwidth connecting them then physical separation is feasible using (complete backup sets at each site).  Using Cloud services can be an additional, perhaps redundant, approach.

I also favor native format backups that can be accessed readily by any computer without a special application for decoding proprietary stores.  The idea is that if you need to get a backed up file, you may not have time to configure a computer with the necessary application to retrieve the file if it's in a proprietary format.  Transparent Cloud services generally let you do that with somewhat less cost / time delay.  Consider a lone computer that's backed up with Carbonite or DropBox: if the computer fails, then you have to set up the application on its replacement first and before you can retrieve files.
Only you know if this is going to be a big deal.

Consider the way that DropBox works (I'm not endorsing it - just creating an example):
DropBox creates hard drive space on the local computer which it backs up transparently.
If you use DropBox as a backup mechanism then you can:
Run separate backup tasks to put the data into  the local DropBox folder.  This means doubling the local storage space.  In your case to 300GB.  And, the working stores can be distributed over multiple computers.

If you use something like Second Copy or another of the variety of other backup programs then you can set up Task Schedules to run the backup profiles from the working stores into the DropBox folder.  This allows you to know that the backups have been done (e.g. via email), it provides a redundant local copy which may be entirely on a separate computer, it provides for file versioning (i.e. file history) in the backup and it gets Cloud storage for physical separation.  All of the files are in native format as far as you're concerned so retrieval is quicker/easier.  In this case you don't work out of the DropBox folder at all.

You obviously don't need a 4TB TeraStation for what you want to do.

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Backups are a complicated subject as there are always multiple trade-offs to deal with.

How critical is an offsite backup to you and how recent does it have to be?  How secure does the backup have to be?

On what OS are the files held?  Is it on a single computer?  An inexpensive solution (though it does have drawbacks) is to use the backup program in the OS to copy to an external hard drive and then swap out the drive to an offsite location on a regular basis.  Hardware and software costs should be very low (under $200 for two drives, no cost for software) but it would "cost" you in time to do the drive swap.

Keep in mind that local backups are vulnerable to viruses such as the ransomware ones if they are stored as standard files.  If you got hit with one of those you'd likely have to go back to the offsite hard drive to recover your data.

Another reasonable solution is to back up to a different computer on your network and then use Carbonite (or other online service) to back up offsite.
Dirk MareSystems Engineer (Acting IT Manager)Commented:
I agree with both comments above.

Take a look at backblaze they are very cheap with unlimited storage, search youtube for the backblaze channel for more info.

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