Preparing your customers for natural disaster

October 29, 2012

What do Hurricanes and Online Backup Have in Common?

We can’t understate the significance of online backup protection. Technology is woven into every business’ mission critical activities. Companies’ most important information is stored on computers, laptops, and mobile devices (most of this is customer information). Hurricane Sandy is set to strike the eight states on the eastern seaboard. 375,000 people in New York City have been evacuated and over 1 million people in Virginia have already lost power. This is a large storm with high winds and even greater wind gusts moving into areas with many businesses, including the financial center of the United States. Even if you have customers that do not live close to the coast, or in an area potentially affected by Hurricane Sandy, this is a sobering reminder of just how devastating a looming natural disaster can be.

Play it Safe and Back it Up!

So to prevent data loss exposure to Hurricane Sandy or any other natural disaster, your re-branded online backup solution is the most convenient form of disaster management – especially for customers with multiple endpoints to protect. In case of a disaster, your clients can connect to a remote computer, that has all critical data and restore it to dissimilar hardware, in the case that the original hardware was damaged. This way your customers’ businesses will not suffer downtime. The cost is minimal, and backups can be automated. You and your customers always have remote data access and all files will always be protected with three layers of encryption, ensuring the highest level of data security. Most importantly – the data will be stored offsite in a secured facility.

Protecting your Customers

SOS partners have access to a disaster recovery template, pricing guidelines, and compliance information. Offering your customers a total business continuity and disaster recovery solution can be achieved by ensuring that your customers are backing up regularly, that their hardware is up to date, and that they’re running the most recent versions of your re-branded online backup application. Now is an ideal time to evaluate your customers’ online backup and disaster recovery plans, before, during and after Hurricane Sandy.

Learn More About Offsite Storage

Reliable offsite storage is key to business continuity and disaster recovery. SOS operates 12 data centers across the globe. All of which are tier III and tier IV and use diesel generators for additional power. Click here to learn more about SOS’s data centers and infrastructure.


SOS for Business Featured in PCMagazine’s Disaster Preparedness Series

September 12, 2012

PCMagazine.com is a go-to source for business and residential online backup information. As such, their writer, Samara Lynn has been hard at work at a disaster preparedness series for business. We’re very excited that she’s chosen to feature SOS for Business!

SOS for Business is renowned for its use of geographically separated data centers (in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and South Africa). PCMagazine makes note of this feature, as well as our military-grade encryption in their article “Disaster Preparedness: Executing the Plan”.

For businesses with highly-sensitive data, some backup providers can address any data security concerns. SOS for Business provides military grade encryption. The company uses a three-tiered approach when it comes to securing backups: data is encrypted locally on the computer before being transferred over an encrypted connection and finally copied to the SOS cloud where the file is kept, encrypted, in multiple, geographically-separated data centers. So your business data is getting a double-layer of redundancy. SOS offers an additional security option, UltraSafe, encrypts data with a private key that only the account-holder has access to, even the team at SOS can’t access the data.

There are some very exciting changes in the works to SOS for Business. Stay tuned, what’s already good about this software is about to become great!

Interested in trying out SOS for Business? Start your free 175GB, 14 day trial today!


Cloud Storage Reviews: The Cloud is Here to Stay – Wired.com

March 14, 2012

Wired.com published a fascinating and very revealing article about the use of cloud services in business. At SOS, we love statistics, and this article is chock full of them. Check out some of these insightful statistics about cloud backup in business, brought to you by Wired.com:

1. 70 percent of businesses are either using or investigating cloud computing solutions.

2. In 2011, two-thirds of companies surveyed were planning or had already deployed cloud-based technologies.

3. 30% of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) used cloud software in 2011.

4. Worldwide IT spending on cloud computing has increased more than 25 percent from 2008 to 2012.

5. 48 percent of U.S. government agencies moved at least one workflow to the cloud following the new requirement that federal agencies adopt a “cloud-first” policy.

For all those businesses that have readily adopted cloud computing and embraced it with open arms, there is a group of hold out SMBs that are resisting the move to the cloud. The article approaches another potent topic – arguments against cloud computing.

Argument 1: cloud computing is just another iteration of SaaS and ASP, which ultimately failed.

Wired counters this argument by observing that bandwidth of much cheaper these days, which was a major impediment to ASP and SaaS in the past.

Argument 2: Security and compliance are weaker in the cloud

Actually, it’s often stronger and better. Wired quotes a 2010 survey that showed 57 percent of respondents agreed that cloud computing actually improved their security.

Argument 3: Cloud computing is too expensive

SMBs often find cloud computing to be affordable and allow for the outsourcing of core competencies such as security and data center hosting. This brings them the benefits of this cloud-centric security knowledge, without the cost. A study cited by Wired notes that 74 percent of the respondents said that using the cloud reduced their infrastructure costs.

Are you considering backing your business up to the cloud? You can start a 175GB 14 day free trial with SOS Online Backup for Business right now. Check us out, see why SOS has won the PC Magazine Editor’s Choice award four times. Download the free 175GB trial here.

SOS also offers affordable server backup solutions (without a hardware purchase requirement!). Backup your entire business – from workstations to Exchange servers to SQL servers with SOS. Learn more about our total business backup solution, SOS ServerSave.


Back up Plan Online : Three Huge Reasons Why Proper Online Backup Matters

February 22, 2012

SmallBusinessComputing.com has released a great, and concise, article by Paul Mah titled “3 Reasons Proper Data Backup Matters”. We definitely agree with all three. This is an article certainly worth reading for any business who is looking to institute off site backup.

This article reminds us that online backup isn’t just a mere best practice, but it’s a necessity to true disaster recovery planning. True disasters occur without your detection or knowledge. Which also means you can’t plan for the extent of the damage, so it is necessary to have backed up ALL of your data that could be at risk.

Disasters that destroy business data typically fall into three main categories:

1. Malicious intent

While many of us think that malice generally occurs in the outside of the safety of our offices, this article reminds us that upset employees are capable of compromising internally stored data.

The disgruntled IT worker is hardly a new phenomenon. Indeed, the past year alone has seen some prominent cases where former employees took it upon themselves to erase entire banks of virtualized servers, or even wipe out all the corporate mailboxes in the company. Clearly, the use of a NAS (or SAN) would have offered no defense against such shenanigans by insiders. Only a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy where everything is backed up on a regular basis may have a chance of returning things to normalcy within an acceptable period of time.

2. Damage to storage medium

Flash drives aren’t off site backup – or backup at all for that matter. This is because they are mobile and therefore vulnerable and backups are not done incrementally or automatically to the device. The use of flash drives should be very limited in a business environment.

Many workers make the erroneous assumption that storing data on a portable hard disk drive (HDD) or USB flash drive constitutes a backup. This is certainly not the case, and such portable devices are in fact more susceptible to being misplaced, stolen, or damaged. In addition, it is important to remember that not all storage devices are designed for longevity in mind, or even for robust data preservation.

Do note that some mediums are particularly prone to damage, such as rewritable optical discs made withinferior dyes. Also, don’t be surprised if that suspiciously cheap USB flash drive you bought at the flea market abruptly stops working after a year or two.

3. Accidental deletion

Have you ever had the “uh oh” moment? That’s the moment of terror when your laptop dies, or is unplugged, while you’re in the middle of a 40 page presentation. This can happen inadvertently to emails, attachments and business servers as well. If online backups have been continuously and incrementally taking place, per an hourly or daily schedule, the recovery of these files will be simple.

I had an experience with this exact scenario just this weekend. When transferring thousands of email messages between two email servers, I carelessly opted to initiate the transfer moving key folders directly between the two locations. It was a bad decision because not all the data made it to the destination server before Outlook decided to call it quits (by crashing), even though the deletion from the origin took place immediately.

It’s very easy to start backing up your data securely off site. SOS offers simple and affordable ways to start backing up your data.

1. Free Business Backup Trial: This 175 GB trial is good for 14 days and includes the full-featured, award-winning SOS Online Backup software. It’s easy to upgrade after starting your trial and all your backed up data stays safe off site!

2. Android Backup App: This 15 GB account backs up your Android and your PC. It’s an easy download from the Android Market. Best of all, it’s just $4.95. Just download the software after creating your account inside the application.

3. Free iPhone AppThis app is available in iTunes and comes with 5 GB of online backup for your PC for free! Just download the software after creating your account in the iPhone app.


Small Business Online : SMBs are Powering Growth in Online Backup – Back up Data in Cloud

February 16, 2012

The cloud was once something that felt speculative. Businesses were, not long ago, unsure whether to trust this impenetrable and ubiquitous piece of technology in the sky. Based on new information from Parallels Inc. and IDC, it appears that this concern has vanished, and businesses around the world are embracing the power and security of online backup.

This is great news for all of us cloud service providers out there – and great news for businesses.

In 2011, IDC reported that 16% of businesses had already started using online backup. That same survey concluded that 69% of businesses intend to use online backup in their business and are researching it. An article published today by Maggie Holland at ITPro.co.uk adds color to this spike in demand for online backup by SMBs.

“There are 148 million small businesses out there waiting to be served. The challenge we all have is that it’s such a diverse market,” said Parallel’s CEO Birger Steen during his keynote speech at the event.

IDC has also reported that the cloud services industry is going to double in size between 2012 and 2014. Small to medium-sized businesses are a huge force behind this move.

SMBs with less than 20 employees are three times more likely to use a cloud than on-premise server. In fact, traditional systems administrators working for a small business are no longer going to be people who hug servers in back rooms,” he said.

“In Q4 last year, we had, for the first time, more instances of servers out of the SMB server room than in the SMB server room in the US. The change is happening already. The server has effectively been moved out of the server room.”

Hardware, software, and skills needed to operate online backup and recovery solutions within an organization and outside of an organization are going to be in high demand in the next few years and beyond. SOS strives to offer complete solutions for managed service providers and businesses. These solutions make transitioning to online backup easy, light in resources, and completely affordable.

Learn more about SOS ServerSave and the SOS 360 Degree Partner Program here.


File Backup & Archive : The Importance of Unlimited Versioning – SOS Online Backup

February 12, 2012

SOS Online Backup is proud to keep all of your data secure, all the time. No exceptions. Once your data is backed up, SOS believes it should stay backed up. This is why all of our plans – for business and for home – offer unlimited versioning.

What makes unlimited versioning such a critical part of online backup?

1. The “uh oh” moment. 

We’ve all had that moment – we accidentally close a document before we’ve saved it. Perhaps your dog  swipes a paw at your power cord and unplugs your computer. Accidental incidents like this are what cause the majority of data loss. Having a backed up all versions of your document on an hourly basis, you will find it much easier to go back and find the right version to work on.

2. Going back in time.

You don’t need a Delorean to go back in time! With SOS you can go back to any version or any file at any time. Would you like to know what changes you made to a financial spreadsheet right before you did your taxes in 2009? No problem, unlimited versioning will help you get there.

3. Compliance

If you’re operating a business, you know that regulation compliance is a complicated issue between your customers, you, and the government.  Some of these regulations involve online backup. Many regulations that request online backup do so for the reason that they want truly unlimited versioning to be a part of your company’s data practice. They want to know that you’ll be able to go back to any of your data at any time – and that you’ll never lose it.

Learn more about unlimited versioning with SOS Online Backup by clicking here. SOS does not limit its versioning capabilities to 30 days, 45 days, or even one year. All backed up versions of your data are stored safely offsite with SOS for as long as you like.


Cloud Backup for Business & Enterprise : Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth for SMBs

February 2, 2012

Today, eMazzanti Technologies, an IT support and computer consulting firm, published an article detailing the big-picture advantages that online backup offers businesses. The article, titled, “Look to the cloud to save money and build business” highlights five different areas that online backup helps businesses grow and progress.

1. Use the cloud to focus on your core strengths

While large enterprises typically adopt the private cloud model, midsize businesses generally find the public cloud more attractive. That’s because midsize companies find tremendous value in focusing on their core services and reducing or re-focusing IT operations. “If you’re a law firm, if you’re a school district,” notes Telford, “for every IT person, that’s one less teacher you can employ or one less lawyer or paralegal you can employ.”

2. Reduce labor costs

When a company uses a public cloud, IT functions move to a provider. With a private cloud, the IT functions that remain in-house increase their efficiency—because management is more efficient in a virtualized environment.

3. Faster time to value

Instead of the weeks or months that purchasing and installation typically require, equipment in the cloud can be ready within hours. Notes Telford, “Rapid provisioning and also being able to be highly elastic—to have lots of processing power for a short period of time—are two ways that you get time to value.”

4. Simplified capital expenses

Cloud computing also can simplify business processes. “The way companies do their accounting,” says Telford, “they have to carve out so much for capital expense, and the way capital is depreciated on the books can be a headache for medium-sized businesses.” Fewer purchases, however, mean not only less money going in and out, they mean less inventory. “That may make it easier for a lot of medium-sized businesses to manage their books.”

5. Lower real estate and energy costs

A public cloud removes large portions of the data center altogether. And both cut the use of energy. “If you have lots of servers spread out across the data center,” says Telford, “they’re taking up space. They’re throwing out heat. If you consolidate those and move those applications to virtualized images that are dynamically provisioned you can cut down drastically on the space required, and you can optimize the way you do cooling in your data center.”

At SOS, we offer cloud solutions for consumers as well as businesses. To date, over 500,000 people across the world have experienced the convenience, affordability, and simplicity of SOS Online Backup. We truly believe that online backup is for everyone. The five benefits outlined above are just a few examples of the ways in which online backup is an investment that quickly pays off.

To read the full article by eMazzanti Technologies, please click here.


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