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.


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.


Data Backup Free Trial – SOS Online Backup Announces Version 5.2 : Faster, Simpler, Stronger

March 12, 2012

Today we’re excited to announce version 5.2 of the SOS Online Backup and SOS ServerSave backend upload agent. To put it succinctly, this new technology is faster, simpler, and stronger.

First, we’ll roll out this new technology to our SOS ServerSave users. Very soon, you’ll receive information about how to download the new executable, which will install right over your existing client.

Here are some major feature updates that you can look forward to. If you’ve been waiting to get started on SOS ServerSave – now’s the time!

SOS was fast before, now we’re even faster.

SOS ServerSave has been updated with version 5.2 of the backend upload agent. This new upload agent will increase your upload speeds nearly 2x. The following examples illustrate how much faster the new SOS ServerSave upload capabilities are:

  • A 15 GB file uploads 25% faster
  • A 200 GB file uploads 28% faster
  • On a 100,000 file set, it uploads 43% faster.

SOS software is designed to perform the fastest initial uploads. 

SOS ServerSave and SOS Online Backup now benefit from improved Intellicache functionality. This means that the software is able to cut down on network and disk usage.

SOS has never throttled your back ups, but now you can better maximize your connection speed with version 5.2. This new version of the upload agent actually adapts to the network connection quality that is being used, and improves upload speed. Additionally, if you happen to lose your internet connection during a backup, you’ll be able to resume the transfer at any time.

Speed is also a benefit of our improved compression and encryption performance, which does apply to bare metal images as well as standard files and folders. SOS software still encrypts data locally, in transit and at rest in the data center – but now we do it faster.

Enhanced Recovery Features

SOS Online Backup and SOS ServerSave’s recoveries will now be faster, and resumable. Recovery will no longer require temporary disk space.

New Centralized Management and Reporting

Pulse Centralized Management is getting a new role in SOS ServerSave. It is no longer necessary to install Pulse as a separate management agent, because it’s now included in Online Backup & Recovery Manager.  You’ll also be able to receive email reports with a list of the “top 20 errors”. We’ve also made detailed backup progress descriptions available.

Hey you – are you shopping around? 

If you are shopping around and considering SOS ServerSave for your business’ server backup solution, click here to request a free trial!

Or if you’d like to get into the nitty-gritty of what SOS ServerSave offers, click here to view our features grid.


Server Backup Online : Take a Recorded Tour of SOS ServerSave

March 1, 2012

If you have a business, you don’t have time to worry about backup. But even worse, you wouldn’t have time to deal with recovering data if you ever lost it! You probably have at least two servers and dozens of laptops – you have a lot of data to secure. Fortunately, SOS ServerSave gives you a uniquely simple backup solution to protect all of that valuable business data in the cloud. You may have checked out our website a time or two, but aren’t sure this solution is complete enough for you. Worry not! Just take a look at our most recent live webinar to learn more about SOS ServerSave.

View the SOS ServerSave webinar here.

SOS ServerSave is a complete and affordable online backup solution for businesses. With SOS ServerSave, you can perform bare metal backups and send them to the cloud. Backup all of these important devices:

– Exchange servers

– SQL and SharePoint servers

– Windows servers

– Fileservers

– Laptop fleets

– Workstations

Better yet…once you sign up for an SOS Online Backup account, you’ll have free access to our native Android and iPhone apps!


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.


FBI and DHS Recommend Data Backup to Lessen Risk of Cyber Attacks : Data Backup & Recovery Plan 2012

January 22, 2012

Have you ever wondered how easy it is for criminals to access your files on your PC? Unfortunately, it’s very easy. It goes without saying that your data is very valuable to you. All kinds of sensitive information is stored on your computer: financial data, taxes, photos, and even items like music that you’ve paid for. If you own a business with several computers in use, you’re probably keeping valuable customer data as well as proprietary company data on those PCs. All of this data, if not properly backed up, is vulnerable to erasure or theft at any time.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security recently released a report on cyber attacks. This report provided several recommendations on mitigating the risk of cyber attacks on individuals and businesses, which mainly employ the tactic of backing up data and protecting it safely off site, where it cannot be tampered with or accessed.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) encourage businesses and individuals to use mitigation strategies and best practices like:

  • Implement a data back-up and recovery plan to maintain copies of sensitive or proprietary data in a separate and secure location. Backup copies of sensitive data should not be readily accessible from local networks.
  • Regularly mirror and maintain an image of critical system files.
  • Encrypt and secure sensitive information.
  • Use strong passwords, implement a schedule for changing passwords frequently, and do not reuse passwords for multiple accounts.
  • Enable network monitoring and logging where feasible.
  • Be aware of social engineering tactics aimed at obtaining sensitive information.
  • Securely eliminate sensitive files and data from hard drives when no longer needed or required.
As a business or an individual, keep in mind that laptops are particularly vulnerable to theft. They are mobile, lightweight, and contain precious data. By scheduling backups regularly, you’ll always be able to recover data to a new machine or laptop quickly and easily.
The report was originally posted on US-CERT on January 19th, 2012.

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