– Jeff Gorman, Business Unit Director
Regardless of the industry in which you operate or the size of your business, having a solid backup and recovery plan is vital. No business can afford to gamble with its data by using outmoded or high-failure backup methods. In today’s world of cost-effective high speed Internet connectivity, data can frequently be protected by shipping it over the wire and storing it at secure offsite locations where it can be accessed in a time of need. Barracuda Backup is one option that has proven to be highly successful in meeting the needs of businesses with respect to online based data backup and offsite replication.
How safely the data is stored is a logical consideration when looking at online backup solutions. Since offsite storage is the best way to ensure data integrity in case of a disaster, the manner in which data is transported and stored is critically important.
When the Barracuda Backup Server is installed and configured, it performs an initial backup of all selected data and stores it locally. An advanced digital cataloging system shreds data into small pieces and tracks the changes of these parts over time to make sure duplicate data is not being retained. This deduplication helps minimize storage and bandwidth costs as it prepares to send data offsite.
To create an offsite copy of critical data, the Barracuda Backup Service sends data to one of two secure data centers via the Internet using an encrypted connection. Before data is transmitted, those shredded and cataloged parts are symmetrically encrypted then compressed for transfer and remote storage efficiency. The symmetric key to unlock those parts is in turn asymmetrically encrypted. The Barracuda Backup Service encryption method exceeds the United States Government’s approved encryption standards for protecting Top Secret information, ensuring that data is protected.
The last copy is created when replication occurs between the two data centers, providing another layer of redundancy. All data is mirrored from one data center to the other and can be accessed from either. Barracuda Networks distributes data for each customer across two geographically dispersed data centers to minimize the potential impact of an event at either location. Each data center is highly secure including alarms, controlled access, fire suppressors, redundant bandwidth, and emergency power generators – everything necessary to ensure valuable data is not in danger.
The Barracuda Backup service [PDF] was also designed with recovery in mind. Administrators manage the device through a Web interface. Because all critical data is mirrored offsite and administrative instructions are sent from the Web interface down to the Backup server, nothing critical is lost if the server is damaged. Barracuda Networks provides a number of tools and protocols to access and restore data either from the local box or from the cloud. This includes the Web interface, the Barracuda Restore Tool, WebDAV, and even FTP. A business can begin restoring data from the cloud as soon as it has connectivity. In the event that the local backup server is a total loss, and there is a significant amount of data that needs to be restored quickly, Barracuda Networks Technical Support can load data on a hard drive or a replacement Barracuda Backup Server and ship it overnight.
Neglecting to protect data until disaster strikes is an extremely high-stakes risk. In the event of a disaster, the likelihood for a company’s survival drops dramatically without access to critical data like company financials, accounts payable records, or customer records.
For some business owners and IT administrators, whether or not they have a solid data backup solution at all becomes their single standard in determining disaster preparedness. In reality, every business has different backup requirements, recovery needs, and priorities, and should create a regular process to analyze and identify critical systems recovery procedures in the event of a total loss. Each business and possibly each system a business utilizes may have different requirements for acceptable recovery time. These should be related to the available recovery options and their associated costs.
The overwhelming dependence of modern businesses and organizations on information technology to operate and remain profitable dictates the necessity of an affordable plan that allows for full and immediate recovery. A business should never be in a position where all of their data exists on a single device or at a single location. As a result of advances in technology with systems such as Barracuda Backup, organizations can now manage these together at an affordable cost.
Contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager for more information or a demonstration of this product and how you, together Keller Schroeder, can benefit your environment.
– Jeff Gorman, Business Unit Director