Are Your Backups Future Proof?

‘Technology has come a long way’, I thought to myself as I stared at the large pile of cassette tapes that collected dust in the corner of my basement.

I can still hear the faint screeching as the tape rewound over and over again, listening to the heavenly music that came out through my ‘90’s headphones. It reminds me of my early computer classes where everything we did was saved on floppy discs.

When you think about it, the short time it has taken from us to go from floppy disks the size of our hand to a jump drive no bigger than a stick of gum is pretty incredible. All of us know the feeling of working for hours, sometimes even days, on a document that we forget to save and accidentally hit the wrong button. The heart-wrenching sound of the IT person telling you there’s no way to get it back, and the hurried and frustrated attempt to recreate the creativity that got you your first draft.

That old-school technology is the way in which the tech industry performed system backups. While revolutionary at the time, the manual and almost impossibly slow system backups of even just a few years ago hardly compare to the systems we can implement now to make sure our data isn’t lost–making sure we aren’t scrambling to try to recover the documents we forgot to save. The old backup systems that we grew accustomed to required tapes, manual recovery, expensive software to keep track of jobs, data sets and media pools, and hours dedicated to trial and error to find the right set of data that contained the latest version of a deleted file.

As is true with all technology, we have come a long way. Recent backup software has innovated new and more efficient ways of data recovery than we’ve ever seen before. But most of these recent innovations still fail in one of a few ways: they err on the side of being too simple (that is, they are not configurable enough to be efficient), they are only local or only cloud based, or if you opt for cloud based they are incredibly expensive because you pay for online storage by the gigabyte.

The good news is that technology continues to advance at a rapid rate; and system backups are no exception. Fast reliable internet speed is allowing backups to be stored online, a vast and almost uncharted amount of space (making it possible to not only store data and files, but to also store entire system images). It is also allowing for the advent of technology that is accessible remotely and at any time, thanks to backup consoles being software as service. Arguably most important is the disaster recovery that uses the cloud copy of the data – allowing the recovery process to not require a copy of the data to be physically taken offsite, thanks to the cloud copy. The advancements are starting to allow a world in which system backups and recovery are not only easily accessible, they’re efficient.

One of the front-runners in the race for backup technological advancement is MaxBackup. Previously IASO, MaxFocus purchased MaxBackup and made it part of their product suite. Containing all the best features of the modern backups, it definitely stands out in the pack. By default, MaxBackup stores data on a cloud server, making its disaster recover easy and promising. The automatic “offsite” nature of a cloud-based backup makes it possible to know your data is safe regardless of what happens on-site. Don’t be deterred simply by the cloud—the product offers the possibility of a local copy as well. Restoring a system from a cloud server can take time, and reliably fast internet. As such, they offer a local cache to increase speed of the routine restores – the best of both worlds.

 

Working on a system that offers two separate backup options makes the possibilities greater. With the ability to choose whether you want “just data” or full system images that include the data make the MaxBackup package even more versatile. MaxBackup recognizes that starting on their system with a cloud based backup can take days, another advantage to the local copy option. Once the local “seed” copy is created, the hard drive can easily be mailed to MaxBackup engineers to make a full copy to their cloud servers for you.

Once you have an image backup complete, MaxBackup has the ability to boot up the system image on a virtual machine on a cloud server – an amazing event to watch – and incredibly proficient. An entire rack of servers could be booted up in a virtual setting, allowing crucial (but limited) access to those servers.

MaxBackup is arguably one of the best products out there for backups and data recovery. MaxFocus offers per-gigabyte or flat fees (categorized for servers and workstations), with almost unlimited storage (technically unlimited but reduced to what is considered “reasonable” amounts for the flat fee). Change how many backups are kept, how long they go back, archive copies that never get deleted, change the backup schedule, change what gets backed up, change the bandwidth backups consume, and it’s all done remotely. For service providers, MaxBackup offers a lot for a very low price. The modern features are there, and they are done well. With an active development that offers new features in ever release, the program is adaptable to new and changing features that advance the technology of backup software. Without question, MaxBackup is worth considering for any IT firm. Take the step from tapes to virtual backup and recovery – you won’t regret it.