Backups and Redundancy

Many IT support companies stress the importance of backups in any business. Think about the old saying, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. This phrase is the best when describing anything that is severely important to your day to day operations. Every business has some type of important data that they can’t function without. But what would happen if your data was to disappear?

With a proper managed service provider (MSPs), you do not have to worry about losing anything. MSPs have backup plans that include local and offsite backups. There should always be a 3-2-1 approach to your backups. There needs to be 3 copies of any important data (1 primary and 2 backups). You should use 2 different types of media, like hard drives and optical drives, to protect against different types of disasters. Finally, 1 copy should always be stored offsite, such as a cloud backup, in the event of a disaster.

What is redundancy?

Redundancy refers to duplicate devices that are used for backup purposes. The goal of redundancy is to prevent or recover from the failure of a specific component or system. There are many types of redundant devices, but the most common is a backup storage device for a PC.

Redundancy is something you should always plan for, whether it is a backup of your data or the hardware itself. Nowadays, servers can have redundant hardware in them, such as their power supplies, hard drives, network cards, and processors.

What happens if one part fails? The redundant part takes over, eliminating the need for a system restart or shut down. These parts can sometimes be “hot-swappable,” meaning that you can take out the failed part and replace it with a new one while the machine is still running. This allows you to get a replacement part onsite, while avoiding downtime associated with hardware failure.

Redundant Array of Independent Disks

If a hard drive fails, it may not be possible to recover any data. Therefore, it is important to regularly back up everything to a secondary hard drive. In enterprise situations, a RAID configuration can be used to mirror data across two drives in real-time. A RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way of storing the same information in different places. In the event of a drive failure, you can store the data on multiple hard disks to protect it.

A RAID allows the main hard drive to be in use while a second, backup drive constantly copies the data. If the main drive goes down, the other kicks in and continues to work. Your MSP will receive an alert, letting them know that there is an issue. They can then address the issue quickly, before you even realize there was a problem.

Some threats to your data are difficult to spot. Some of the major culprits that can destroy your data are viruses, malicious intent by employees, theft, natural disasters, and equipment failure. However, if you have proper backups and redundancy in place, your data will be protected.

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