I habe been asked to research back up systems for our software and files. We have Windows 7 on most of our computers and XP on the others. We're looking at getting new industry specific software in the near future as well. How do I figure out whether or not a software is compatible with a back up system, or if there will be issues doing back ups?
It depends. On a lot of things. A backup system has to know enough about what you're trying to backup in order to be efficient, to back up everything, and to guarantee integrity.
There are several approaches to backup that I've seen deployed in production systems:
As a general point of advice, "backup" should almost never be associated with data on the system volume of a running server. So if you're on Windows, you don't want to be taking backups from
Another point of advice: in an enterprise environment, individual workstations are not normally backed up. Users are instead educated that they should store valuable company data and files on a networked share drive (shared over a Windows Domain controller), and the shared volume is backed up usually using the differential backup-to-tape method (on a file level) that I mentioned.
To me, the hallmarks of an ideal enterprise backup system are the following:
Cloud computing is revolutionizing the way companies do business. However, it's not the best solution for everyone. There are many things to consider before transitioning to a cloud service over a local alternative. Backups are no exception to this.
The benefits of cloud backups include some level of built in redundancy, time that your IT department can devote to other projects, and easy scaling as your business grows. These are great reasons to start a business using cloud services. Established companies, however, may find the expense of transitioning to these new services is cost prohibitive. Other concerns about cloud backups include latency with regularly accessed data and high bandwidth usage. Cloud backups are the best option in most cases, but there are some usage scenarios where server backups are better.
Backing up your files to a local server is an easy and low-cost option when you already have a server in place. The cost of transitioning to a new cloud based backup system often outweighs the benefits for established companies. Startups and new companies do not have these restraints and benefit greatly from the reduced implementation costs associated with cloud backups. When you're just starting out it is very cost effective to pay a small premium each month to avoid the overhead that comes with dedicated servers and in-house IT personnel.
When you're choosing between cloud backups and server backups it boils down to what your already have in place. If you already have a server and the IT resources to keep it running then it is probably less expensive to stick with that. On the other hand, if your starting a new business or planning for massive expansion of your existing business then it's time to take your backups to the cloud.