SOS Online Backup Prepares for World Backup Day

March 28, 2012

Did you know that all of the people on this earth will create 1.8 zettabytes of data this year? We are  constantly tweeting, taking photos, creating videos, writing documents, completing credit card transactions, and storing all of these records digitally. Businesses and individuals alike are wise to backup this data in a reliable and secure off-site data center, so that no harm can ever come to them.

World Backup Day is here to draw attention to the billions of files that are lost every year. Of course, they wouldn’t be lost, or ever at risk of it, if they were backed up properly. World Backup Day reminds us of a few very important facts about online backup:

1. It’s easy!

SOS Online Backup allows you to backup all your data with one account and schedule backups automatically. Backing up is so simple and effortless with SOS because it’s impossible to forget to do it!

You can quickly download a 175GB free trial from SOS Online Backup for Business by clicking here.

2. It’s affordable

Backing up five PCs at home is simple and affordable. SOS Online Backup for Home plans cost as little as 21 cents per day!

3. External hard drives and flash drives aren’t backup

If backups aren’t online, they aren’t secure. If backups aren’t automatic, then they aren’t guaranteed to get done as frequently as we need to do them. SOS goes the extra mile to encrypt all backed up data in three different tiers: locally, in transit, and at rest in the data center. Online backup shouldn’t just be simple, it should be secure, too!

Learn more about World Backup Day at worldbackupday.com. Join the 500,000 SOS Online Backup customers around the world in protecting your data reliably and regularly!

Download your free SOS Online Backup for Home trial here.

For businesses, with more than five PCs, download your SOS Online Backup for Business trial here.


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.


Cloud Backup for Holiday Fun : Data Backup Options

December 27, 2011

The holidays are approaching quickly and I’m seeing the usual trends.  My work with residential clients is winding down for the year while my corporate clients are keeping me hopping with spending the last of the year’s budgets before the rapidly approaching deadline.  The funny thing is the fact that my corporate clients are generally on a pretty solid technology base, having had consistent IT support throughout the year, while the residential clients are actually the ones adding new technology without the thought of the infrastructure required to sustain it.

Infrastructure

Normally infrastructure is a word that people associate with corporate networks and information technology.  Infrastructure is the backbone of the network, the ‘back end’, encompassing the equipment, systems and processes that help keep the actual ‘front end’ equipment running smoothly.  What’s the difference?

Front-End

We all know the front-end equipment.  It’s what we use and what we play with at home.  iTunes, game software, printers and the sweet machine we’ve built to play the most modern and immersive games.  All of these devices have to be supported by the back-end.

Back-End

How does that multiplayer online game work?  From your PC, the data travels to a switch (if you have multiple devices) then to a router before flitting off to the Internet.  If any of those devices fail or are underpowered, the front-end experience suffers.

Let’s discuss some of the back-end equipment and systems I think every home user should be thinking about this holiday season.

Storage

How much storage space do you have?  These are your hard drives, where actual data is stored.  Data can be anything from the mass of songs purchased through the online music service to the photos and videos from your family event.

Ask these questions:

1. Do I have enough storage space?  Do I need to add an external hard drive for storage?

2. What happens if any of these devices fail?  Can I recover the data?

Backup

We gather data because we want to keep it.  Sounds like a simple concept.  We take pictures because we want to look at them later just as we download songs because we want to listen to them down the road.  The storage systems we use today in modern computing are prone to failure, so we have to have a system in place for that eventuality.

Ask these questions:

1. What am I willing to lose?

2. For the items not falling into question 1, how are you protecting them?

Keep Thinking

If you’ve read any of my articles in the past, you probably know that I’m going to give you a lecture about backing up your data.  You’re certainly in the right on that point, but I’m going to also give you some insight about where I’m coming from.  As a computer consultant with more years under my belt than I usually like to admit, I’ve found that the most effective thing I can do to as a business is to keep my customers happy.  Customers are always happy when I can provide the newest technology, bells and whistles.  It all falls down though if the fancy accounting system I installed crashes and all of their financial data is lost.  Recommending good backup strategies help me keep customers, both residential and corporate.  The biggest addition they bring to my bottom line is helping me keep that customer after disaster eventually hits.  I hate to tell a customer that they’ve lost data and I’ve had to do just that far more often than I like.

Think about your back-end at home.  You love the front-end toys and gizmos, so keep up the care and feeding of the systems that make them work.

— The Backup Master


In 2012, Move Your Business Backup to the Cloud : Secure your Business Data Now!

December 1, 2011

Today’s entry is for business owners.  I’m going to remind you again at the first of the new year, but let’s get a jump start on those resolutions.  If you don’t make resolutions for your business like you would for yourself, it’s high time to consider it.  Here are a pair of resolutions I think you should consider, for the future of your business:

Move to the Cloud

You’ve heard the buzzword.  What does it mean?  Cloud services basically offload your storage and processing power to servers located offsite and are accessible via the internet.  For you, it means lower cost of equipment as workstations don’t have to have nearly as much horsepower.  Lower to mid-range desktops do just fine with cloud-based applications and services.  This isn’t going away.  Look to see more and more products you use on your desktop to no longer be sold as stand-alone software.  Some cloud services that are available now:

  • Hosted Email – Even for corporate Exchange environments
  • Accounting Software – Online versions of some of the biggest names in accounting are available in cloud service form.
  • Productivity Software – Even MS Office has become a cloud product.  The flat monthly fees mean you don’t have to buy a new version of Office again.

Backup, Backup, Backup

One more time.  Backup.  Can I say it too many times?  Ask yourself these two questions before you skim over this section again.

  • Is everything being backed up?
  • How long has it been since a restore has been tested?

If you’re not 100% in the know of both of these answers, the answers probably aren’t what you would want them to be.  Data loss is one of the killers of businesses.  I have had the unfortunate experience of witnessing two of these cases over my years as a consultant.  Critical data was lost and the company was unable to recover.  Trust me, it’s a reality.

The quickest and easiest entry point into a good backup is by using an online backup service.  Not only are your files backed up automatically, they are securely stored in a remote location, protecting your business from larger-scale disasters such as fire, flooding and theft.

So start planning your resolutions now, or jump right in and make them happen.  At the very least, make yourself aware of what is available and more importantly, make yourself aware of the consequences if you don’t take action.  In today’s modern world, the last reason businesses should fail is data loss.

— The Backup Master


Take a Journey Through SOS ServerSave : Server Backup Reseller Program

November 27, 2011

At SOS, we’ve spent a lot of time working on how to make our products the best for our partner resellers. We realize how difficult it is to make it in a competitive marketplace, with constantly changing technology, and clients whose understanding is constantly changing as well.

That is why we’re offering daily webinars for the SOS ServerSave partner program. These webinars take prospective and existing SOS partners through all of the cost-effective, high margin, opportunities SOS offers to reseller partners.

The SOS ServerSave reseller program is the complete package. In our webinars, you’ll take a guided tour through the SOS ServerSave portal, the web integration package, Pulse Centralized Management, and the new partner dashboard. These are all included in one price when you start reselling SOS ServerSave.

If you’d like to ask your own questions about the SOS ServerSave reseller program, please reach out to our Partner Specialists at 877.893.3611 or sign up to attend an upcoming webinar.

You can take a look at a webinar right now, hosted by SOS CEO Ken Shaw or Partner Product Manager Derek Wood. Click here to review some past webinars!


Tape Backup on the wane, as Cloud gets prominence

August 3, 2011

When we look at traditional backup solutions, tape has been the dominant method of backup for the last two decades and is still in usage across the globe. However, tape backup is gradually receding because of its technological disadvantages and high costs; and online backup is capturing market share at an extra-ordinary rate, as a preferred backup solution.

Santa Clara Consulting Group, which tracks the tape market, has predicted 25% reduction in tape backup sales over 2009-2011 and the tape market has actually shrunk from $2.28 BN to $1.58 BN in the last 24 months.  Similarly, data from CTO Edge survey reveals that 71% of the respondent had said that they would increase usage of cloud computing services while 60% of them are planning to phase out tape.

In terms of forecast for backup, industry experts predict online backup to be the de facto standard of backup over the next 10 years.

Question remains why cloud backup service has gained so much popularity in a short span of time?

Tape Vs Online Backup

Integration/Installation:

With tape-based backup solution, the integration and installation is complex.  It requires a central IT team to configure and install it in the system, which is a time-consuming and tedious process.  In online backup, you simply deploy the backup software across all the PCs you want to protect and you are finished with installation.

Coverage:

Data coverage with tape backup is seriously flawed. With tape-based centralized architecture, it only protects the PCs which are within the system. Laptops cannot be covered, branch offices are off limits and any distributed data outside the system is not backed up, & hence not protected. With cloud-based architecture of online backup, any device such as laptops, workstations, all are covered under the backup cloud.

Media:

With tape backup, the media is going to be rotated off-site every day.  With the best cloud-based backup service, there is facility called continuous data protection or CDP where the data is backed up on an incremental basis every day or every hour or every minute as and when the data is created.

Recovery:

Recovery is a serious problem area in tape-based backup. It involves a major effort where the central IT team will be doing a full restore of tapes.  They should find all of the incremental archives and apply those incremental recoveries.  With online backup, recovery is incredibly powerful, which can be done with a simple desktop application.  It doesn’t involve any IT staff; any users who are connected to the system can access their files easily.  More importantly, you can see any version of the file you have ever backed up.

Security:

In terms of security, tape backup is terrible.  The stored media is subject to failure, theft and loss.  With online backup, full redundancy is built-in.  Data is replicated in multiple datacenters.  Data is stored in encrypted format once it leaves the system, transferred in a secured SSL tunnel and is stored in federal level encryption format.

Access to Data:

With tape-based backup, access to data is a very tedious process, where the entire IT team is involved in accessing the data and would take days before the data is accessed.  Online backup facilitates instant access to the data.  Data can be accessed anywhere, the user just needs a PC with internet connection to access the data.  Data can be accessed by mobile devices like blackberry or iPhone anywhere in the world.

Management:

In terms of management, tape backup requires extensive IT staff maintenance.  Tapes are not physically secured.  Recoverability is a major issue.  According to statistics, up to 65% of the tape based backup fail.  Online backup is just a simple set-and-forget software installation.  Any end-user can easily schedule and manage the backup.

Cost:

Tape backup is highly expensive.  Costs include IT staff maintenance, manual storage of tape offsite and extensive man-hours involved for recoverability.  Online backup costs about one-half or one-third of tape-based backup solution.

So, what we see is an archaic but widely relied-on technology i.e. tape backup getting phased out, and making way for the latest in the cloud-based architecture. Are you backing up online yet?


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