Online Backup

Online backup explained in simple terms with benfits, myths, and common questions.

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Online Backup Benefits

Common Myths

Online backup widely held but false misconceptions or ideas.

Online Backup Myths

Online Backup Definition

Online backup is a service that provides offsite backup and storage of computer files over the Internet. Online backup services use either hardware or software to perform an initial full backup on a physical drive, with subsequent hourly to daily incremental backup over the Internet.

Online backup is charged monthly on a per gigabyte storage cost. Online backup is more secure and cost effective by escaping the expense and burden of implementing and maintaining on-premise hardware and software, without tape failures or human intervention.

When an organization subscribes to online backup, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) provides services to backup customer data to an exclusively controlled MSP site and restore as needed to customer premise network. Online backup subscriptions are provided according to the terms of a Service Level Agreement (SLA), along with direct monthly billing.

A common misconception is that external hard drives or USB is a better alternative than tape. While the media is inexpensive and a disk, the reality is high risk for disk failure due to electrical, magnetic, or physical impact. With the portability, data on external drives is regularly exposed to human error, loss, and sabotage.

Online backup is a strategic business solution to improve business continuity and lower backup cost. Unlike legacy tape, online backup can provide greater retention and backup individual devices like smart phones and tablets. By reducing maintenance and disaster recovery costs, management can use more budget on customer-facing services and allow IT staff to focus on customer service of end-users.

Common Features

  • Encryption & Retention
  • Compression & Deduplication
  • Discovery & Seeding
  • Compliance Rules
  • Incremental Backup
  • User Self Service
  • File by File Restore
  • Active Directory Backup and Restore
  • Database Backup and Restore
  • Messaging Backup and Restore
  • Smartphone/Tablet Backup and Restore
  • Strategic Soltuion
  • Cost Effective
  • Encryption Security
  • Offsite Storage

Online Backup Benefits

Benefit Reason
Reduced costs Online backup allows an organization to escape maintenance and upgrades of key infrastructure hardware and software and media for less on-going cost to support.
Greater security Most organizations do not have encryption or protection from human error, loss, or sabotage.
Increased storage Online backup provides much more storage capacity for a fraction of the cost of on-premise solutions.
Better Business Continuity Organizations no longer need a secondary site for failover with the dual maintenance, cost, and risk.
Access to enhanced skills base Managed service providers maintain a staff of specialists. Technical solutions are implemented quickly and at reasonable cost, without having to continually expand internal staff.
Strategic focus Without the burden of errors, updates, and backup of key infrastructure, IT staff can concentrate on customer service and strategic core business.
Capital expenditure reduction Online backup reduces the server, storage, media and related software licensing like for on-premise backup infrastructure.

Online Backup Comparison

With traditional backup, media like external hard drives and tapes must be replaced annually. Backup hardware warranty is generally 3 years with an associated waterfall effect of software upgrade and configuration. Online backup offers a one time migration and lower on-going cost from elimination of media and less hardware, software, and maintenance. The following five year calculation represents the estimated benefits received from implementing Matrixforce Phoenix® compared to your current approach.

  • Reliable
  • Trustworthy
  • Resillient
  • Incremental

Online Backup Myths

Online backup is often characterized through ignorance or suspicion. Let's review the common doubts and dispel these myths:

  1. Online backup is unreliable. After initial seeding, online backup only records the changes at each subsequent backup per an automated schedule with built-in retry for any disruptions. This process far exceeds the myriad human error, tape faults, and hardware or software malfunction of traditional backup.
  2. Online backup is unsecure. Unlike tapes or external hard drives, data is encrypted and restricted only to designated backup destinations.
  3. Online backup is not trustworthy. Online backup volumes are offline and files are compressed and encrypted. Therefore, files cannot be browsed or opened.
  4. Online backup is limited in storage. Most commercial online backup services do not pose any limitations on the amount of data to protect.
  5. Online backup is too expensive. While offerings vary, online backup is generally less than traditional alternatives by escaping the significant cost of hardware, software, media, upgrades, maintenance, and human intervention.
  6. Hard drives or USB is better than online backup. Such options are high risk for human error, loss, or sabotage. In addition, drive failures are common especially with any regular physical impact from transport and USB could just as easily end up destroyed in the laundry.
  7. Online backup is too slow and prone to errors. Since online backup is incremental, backup windows are smaller with fewer errors than traditional backup.
  8. Daily online backup is difficult. Agentless online backup uses an automated schedule and is much easier to monitor and configure than various manual human intervention processes.
  9. Online backup is only for small business. Medium sized organizations and large enterprises tend to benefit more from increased security and reliability and reduced cost.
  10. Online backup is unnecessary. Worse than having no backup at all is the false sense of security of changing the tape and not really having a backup. The only thing more heinous is having your data unwittingly copied, lost, or destroyed by human sabotage or error.

Online Backup FAQ

What does Matrixforce provide for Phoenix® Online Backup?

Matrixforce provides setup and implementation of replication hardware or online backup software of customer data and applications. Post-implementation support is provided, along with any on-premise managed services.

How would my business benefit from Phoenix® Online Backup?

Some of the proven benefits associated with Phoenix® Online Backup include:

  • Reduced storage costs
  • Better data protection
  • Self service restore
  • Reduced capital for storage
  • Improved retention

What is the process for online backup?

Matrixforce provides a demonstration and initial free data discovery report. Clients generally perform some archiving or identify dated or non-critical files to backup. Then a full backup is performed to an external drive and imported into the backup vault. After import, incremental hourly or daily snapshots are replicated as scheduled over the Internet.

How is Recovery® Online Backup priced?

Matrixforce provides a fixed cost price for setup, based upon the unique operating environment and business need of each client requiring either hardware or software or both. On-going monthly cost for data storage is billed per protected gigabyte per month, on a tiered model by volume.

What are the risks with using online backup?

There are 2 main risks with using online backup:

  1. Limited bandwidth
  2. Service Provider selection

Online backup is not feasible for customers with limited bandwidth such as fractional T-1. When selecting online backup, the service provider should have at least 20 years of on-premise experience restoring critical systems and application data.

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