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5 Reasons Data Centers Are Important to Your Backup Strategy

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on January 22, 2019

As data has become more important to today’s businesses, developing strategies to back it up effectively have become huge concerns for organizations of all sizes. While companies used to simply store all of their critical data on-site, they are increasingly turning to data centers to provide backup services. When used effectively, conventional and software-defined data centers can provide unparalleled peace of mind for organizations that simply cannot afford to have anything happen to their data.

5 Reasons Data Centers Are Important to Your Backup Strategy

Hard Drive Failure

Most organizations understand the importance of backing up data, whether through a software-defined data center or other DCaaS options, but a surprising number also cling to outdated approaches. Simply backing up data on external hard drives is not only inconvenient to manage, but also likely to result in disaster. Whether data is stored on HDD mechanical devices or newer SDD devices, the risk of losing it due to mechanical failure or accident is significant. About 140,000 hard drives fail in the US every week, with almost 30 percent of them failing due to human error.

Simply backing up data on a local hard drive is not sufficient protection for even a small business. While hard drives might seem like an inexpensive, simple, and secure solution, it’s often impossible to recover data from a failed device. Furthermore, hard drives are not usually backed up in real time, resulting in incomplete data when they are used for recovery following a data loss situation. Data centers can back up data instantaneously in a cloud environment as part of their data center as a service (DCaaS) offerings, and also provide multiple power and computing redundancies to ensure that data is always available even in the event of hardware failure.

Natural Disasters

When natural disasters strike, people usually think about the threat of physical damage. Flooding and wind can destroy offices or wreck havoc on warehouse fleet logistics. For many organizations, however, natural disasters pose a much more serious long-term threat: data loss. According to FEMA data, 40-60 percent of businesses never reopen after they suffer damage from a natural disaster. While some of this is due to the sheer cost of rebuilding critical business infrastructure, data loss is another major factor in these failures.

Without data center backups, companies can lose business critical data forever when a natural disaster wipes out some portion of their IT infrastructure. Rebuilding an office is one thing, but rebuilding a carefully segmented customer database that was assembled over many years is all but impossible. Deprived of the data that their business needs to function, these companies have no choice but to shut their doors or start over from scratch. By backing up information with DCaaS data centers built to withstand the most intense natural disasters, companies can rest easy knowing their data will still be available afterward.

Physical Security

From a security standpoint, the typical office isn’t very intimidating. Even if a building has a security system or a guard, there’s often nothing to stop someone from walking into an office and stealing a hard drive or downloading vital data onto a memory stick. More importantly, what’s to stop an internal employee from doing the same?

Even the most secure offices don’t come close to matching the physical security measures of a conventional or software-defined data center. With multiple layers of security, two-factor authentication that incorporates biometrics, and restrictive access lists, DCaaS data centers offer the highest levels of physical security that an organization could ask for. This ensures that even in the unlikely event that critical data walks out the office front door, there will always be a backup safely behind the walls of a secure data center facility.

Ransomware Protection

Cyberattacks have grown increasingly sophisticated in recent years. One of the most successful strategies being used today involves ransomware, which uses malware embedded in a system to encrypt data so the data’s owners and other authorized users can’t access it. Once the data is encrypted, hackers contact the victims and offer to unlock it in exchange for monetary payment. It should come as no surprise, however, that even in cases where the ransom is paid, the data usually remains encrypted.

Maintaining a separate backup in a secure data center environment ensures that companies will still be able to access it and keep their business up and running even if their main systems fall victim to ransomware. With these attacks becoming more ambitious in recent years, organizations of all sizes need to think about backup strategies for mitigating their impact.

Data Availability

Today’s customers want to access products and services immediately. This puts tremendous pressure on organizations to build network infrastructures that deliver high levels of uptime to meet customer demands. When systems go down and services become unavailable, customers lose faith in a company and turn elsewhere for alternatives. Restoring customer trust in a brand can take years, if it’s possible at all.

Backing up data in a secure DCaaS facility that delivers high uptime can help companies protect themselves against the possible failures of their own IT infrastructure. It also ensures that data will still be available in the event of a breach or failure that causes significant data loss. This redundancy will enable companies to recover quickly from setbacks so they can get back to meeting customer needs with minimal service disruption.

Data centers have a critical role to play in every organization’s backup strategy, whether they’re an enterprise level company or a small startup with only a handful of customers. Thinking ahead to form contingency plans for dealing with data loss can give both companies and customers peace of mind as data becomes more important to delivering the products and services of today and the future.

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