Look Past the Price Tag

The online backup market is a mess! Companies are coming out of the woodwork offering great deals on backup services. With cloud-based disk space providing cheaper storage, the downward pressure on price seems unstoppable.

For businesses, where do you begin? As recovering consultants, we always advise businesses to start with requirements.
  • Why are you creating backups?
    To protect users from document errors? To recover user-deleted files? To recover from system failures? To recover from a larger disaster?
  • How many versions of each file do you need?
    For recovery from disaster or system failure, you really only need one. To recovery from user error, you may want more.
  • For how long do you need backups available?
    Days, weeks, months, years?
  • How quickly do you need to be able to recover?
    Hours, days, or longer?

These questions are important, as the answers often eliminate the low cost providers. Backups at 50 cents per GB is attractive, unless you need retention for more then 30 days. If one version on backups is not enough, then the unlimited space for $50 per year per machine is not the solution. If you may need to restore whole servers or large data sets, services without off-line recovery options will leave you waiting, literally, for your data.

When evaluating online backup solutions. Look past the price tag at how well the solution meets your needs. Whether from a reputable service provider or an in-house attempt to build a solution that saves money, if the backup solution doesn’t meet your needs, you are wasting money.