Picking The Right Backup Strategy For Your Business

Michael Brenner

Remember the days when we backed up our data on magnetic tapes, floppy disks, and other media that weren’t necessarily user-friendly or reliable in a disaster recovery situation?

Flash forward to today’s challenges of system failures, viruses, and data corruption. To meet this demand, technology providers now offer powerful, cost-effective solutions for securing business continuity.

What are these choices? Symantec suggests three compelling options in its white paper Cloud, Appliance, or Software? How to Decide Which Backup Solution Is Best for Your Small or Midsize Organization. Enabling your business to recover from system loss or disaster in minutes, these approaches simplify and automate your backup processes, preventing lost revenue and productivity.

How do you determine which backup strategy is right for your business? Let’s take a closer look at each.

Backup Solutions to the Cloud

Using an online, Software as a Service (SaaS) backup and recovery solution, both your backup application and information storage reside off-site. This affordable subscription-based approach allows you to forgo the upfront investment of backup hardware, software, and personnel.

Ideal for businesses with one or two servers per site and roaming users, online backup is optimized to work over very limited bandwidth connections between corporate locations and the vendor’s secure enterprise-class data center. Other benefits include:

  • Regular and consistent backup that is automated and managed by your vendor, with 24/7 support
  • Manageable costs with a subscription-based model
  • Affordable, reliable off-site protection with the backup data encrypted for security
  • Equal backup and recovery protection at headquarters, branch offices, and remote sites

Online backup works great for companies with:

  • No on-site IT staff
  • Smaller data sets
  • Limited databases and applications on local servers
  • No hardware for backup
  • Preference for SaaS
  • Remote offices

Backup Appliance

Combining backup hardware and software in an integrated appliance provides a standardized backup infrastructure for one or more offices. The appliance is easy to install and eliminates traditional server and software maintenance tasks. Other benefits include:

  • Reduction in operational complexity and risk by implementing the appliance quickly to decrease the impact of data growth
  • Lower total cost of ownership with preconfigured software on the appliance, a simple licensing model, and one point of contact for both software and hardware technical support
  • Peace of mind from a backup solution in a turnkey format complete with hardware, software, and support integrated on a single appliance

This is an ideal solution for companies with the following:

  • Planning to buy new storage hardware
  • Need quick recovery of files and applications
  • Not wedded to a specific hardware
  • Limited IT staff of one to two people
  • Need instant backup for remote offices
  • Have a preference for integrated appliances and on-site backup

Backup Software

Depending on your current infrastructure, data protection software may be all you need, especially if you have server management skills and prefer to customize and build your own backup system. Sophisticated backup and recovery software is loaded and runs on a designated server to perform backup operations. Benefits include:

  • Reduction of storage and management costs through sophisticated deduplication and archiving technology
  • Improved visibility in virtualized environments allows you to see, protect, and recover virtual and physical machines
  • Ability to manage data growth with intelligent archiving

Backup software is a great option for companies that:

  • Have a dedicated IT staff
  • Do not plan to upgrade or buy new storage hardware
  • Already use backup software and are happy with it
  • Have a preference for software and on-premise backup

Hybrid Backup Solutions

A hybrid approach of deploying a combination of cloud, appliance, or software backup solutions might be the best solution for your business. Hybrid solutions complement businesses that:

  • Require quick on-premise recoveries
  • Have smaller remote offices with little or no IT staff
  • Want to first back up data to an on-site appliance


Protecting and recovering data quickly and cost-effectively is within reach. Download Cloud, Appliance, or Software? How to Decide Which Backup Solution Is Best for Your Small or Midsize Organization (no registration required) to see what backup strategy is right for your business.

Let me know what you think in the comments below and follow the conversation on Twitter,  LinkedInFacebook or Google+.


About Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, Head of Strategy at NewsCred, and the former VP of Global Content Marketing at SAP. Michael is also the co-author of the upcoming book The Content Formula, a contributor to leading publications like The Economist, Inc Magazine, The Guardian, and Forbes and a frequent speaker at industry events covering topics such as marketing strategy, social business, content marketing, digital marketing, social media and personal branding.  Follow Michael on Twitter (@BrennerMichael)LinkedInFacebook and Google+ and Subscribe to the Marketing Insider.