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Backup/Restore Strategies & Solutions

It is important to consider not only a backup/restore solution, but to implement procedures and policy also.

We can help you with all aspects of your backup operation, having had many years experience, and can offer you many options, from dedicated hardware at customer's premises, to leading-edge cloud computing and data warehousing facilities.

Contingency Planning + Business Continuity:

Whether you are worried about being able to retrieve your data in the event of a system failure, or being able to continue working even if your systems or premises are unavailable, we can help your organization through planning and implementation of I.T. Contingency Planning, Business Continuity and Systems Availability.

Whether you have several hundred PCs in multiple locations, or a single network in just one, we can provide bespoke solutions, including;

  • On-site Backup Hardware, Automated on-site solutions
  • RAID, NAS, Network Disks, Network Redundancy
  • Managed Backup Strategies and Data Security Policies
  • Off-line remote storage and backup
  • Backup in multiple locations and/or continents
  • Mirror Services for local and remote access

Backup Solutions:

We can deliver you a solution tomorrow, that will not only perform your network and workstation backups, but is also guaranteed to work in case a restore is required.

These are our standard customer options, though obviously each case tends to be unique, and we are therefore capable of tailoring an individual solution to fit:

  • Option 1: Windows Dedicated Backup Server
    An efficient backup/restore strategy can be implemented using a Dedicated Backup Server, running Windows, and therefore capable of connecting both to Windows Clients and Windows Servers. In an automated fashion, this 'pulls' the data off each source, storing it on RAID-connected disks within the server. Typical solutions for this job include Hewlett Packard or Acer Home Servers, which are small Windows Servers with 1Tb or 2Tb RAID-disks, and licenses included for up to 10 connected Windows workstations.

    Because these machines are dedicated to a single task, their internal processing requirements are quite low, and such systems are usually based around the Intel Atom processor, a low cost and low power solution increasingly popular in dedicated industrial computers, and the Atom is also the processor of choice for the surprisingly robust netbook platform.
  • Option 2: Windows Backup/Disaster Recovery Server
    Backup/Disaster Recovery Server or Windows BDR is a more robust solution, similar to the above, but with higher specification hardware, more fault tolerance, and more specialized and dedicated mirroring and backup software. It is aimed at operations having a high data turnover, or data-critical company operations.

    Typically, we recommend the Zenith Infotech machine, as it packs a fair punch for the price, a full RAID system, and features very reliable, custom-written mirroring software. The units can work in pairs, thus enabling seamless off-site backup for extra security and assurance.
  • Option 3: Backup and NAS - Network Attached Storage
    A very modern and very attractive solution not only to data backup but also to primary data storage, and even application serving is the Network Disk or NAS device. Fundamentally, a hard disk in a box, with a network attachment, these devices have improved massively over the last few years, and are capable of replacing even the heftiest of network file servers.

    For backup, NAS-devices can be ideal, since they can be highly automated, they can connect together to 'synchronize' data from a local disk array to another similar setup off-site, and they represent a very modern, low-power and low-profile approach to network computing and data security.

    However, Network Disks and NAS Backups are only useful if the local network is modern enough to support them, and the applications and workstations have been pre-configured to use a central server location for all company data (Centralized Storage Policy). This can be a problem with existing computer networks, or networks assembled in an ad-hoc manner such that much legacy (a.k.a. Microsoft!) software is installed in a PC rather than a centralized and server-centric manner.
  • Option 4: Backup to the Cloud
    Any off-site backup strategy is effectively backing up to the cloud, but we can offer more.

    Our partnership with CDGI gives our customers access to world-wide data warehousing, storage, and application access.

    In many ways this is more akin to very old-fashioned computing, where data would be stored on a massive computer, in some faraway building, and it would be accessed from remote and very dumb terminals across dedicated kilostream connections. These days, it is far easier to setup this scenario, and of course it has far more power and flexibility.

    Read more ...

Backup Theory & Backup Policy

An effective I.T. backup/restore strategy requires a clear definition of goals, through the implementation of a Backup Policy.

Backup Policy should be accompanied by User Manuals, and even User Training Programmes, to ensure that your employees are aware of the part they should play in ensuring your business continuity.

We specialise in the drawing up of Backup Policy Documents, if necessary as addendums to existing ISO9000 Quality Procedures or ISO17799 Security Policy documentation. We can prepare user manuals, hand-outs, or reminder cards, and can do half-day or full-day training sessions at your own premises, to teach not only how to take care of your files, but other aspects of Data Security also.

Please call us for an informal chat about any of your Backup/Restore, Data Security or Business Continuity requirements: 312-346-2048

Further Reading

We have prepared a detailed Bulletin of our backup solutions. Please login to your account to download this document, or send us an email and we will send it you directly:
Bulletin 1011: Backup Strategies

The Zenith Rackmount BDR. Also available in a tower form factor.
The Buffalo Terastation NAS, a suitable replacement for any file-server. Also available in a rack-mount form factor.