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Different Types of Data Back-up Explained

Sooner or later data loss will happen, it is just a matter of when it will occur and how much data will be affected. Knowing that data loss is an inevitable part of doing business in a digital world, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the best way to prevent data loss is preparing for it to happen.

As such, having a well designed backup system is key to keeping business moving forward when data loss occurs. IT services are available to help businesses with data backup solutions

Data is the lifeblood of modern organizations and data loss can mean losing months, even years, of painstaking work. While some files can be recreated, usually at a great cost of time and/or money, much of the data may be permanently lost. A 2020 report by IBM Security listed the three most common causes of data loss as: 

 1) Hardware failure at 31 percent.

 2) Human error at 29 percent.

 3) Some form of malware at 29 percent.

Additional alarming statistics provided by Gartner, a technological research and consulting firm in Stamford, Connecticut, shows the potential disastrous impact on businesses and the importance of having a viable data-backup strategy. These numbers show that data loss is not only expensive, but can often result in a business not surviving. According to Gartner, the average cost to a business is over $5,500 per minute of downtime and that companies that were not able to recover their data had a two-year survival rate of just six percent!

Because the issues that cause data loss, such as hardware failures or Cyber hacks, can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, maintaining a full data backup is of paramount importance. Many Ottawa IT services provide data backup storage solutions of which there are essentially six types. These data backup options can all provide organizations with full or partial levels of data backup protection. The important consideration is to use a backup method that is best suited to safeguarding critical data files.

Tape Backup

Modern tape technology can backup up to nine terabytes of data per tape. Tapes can be stored onsite or shipped to an offsite storage facility. However, tape backups have an extremely high Recovery Time Objective, or RTO and Recovery Point Objective, or RPO. Tape backup systems also require expensive equipment, such as a tape drive and an autoloader, to execute a backup and recovery operation.

Removable Storage Media

IT services are available that can help with this simple backup storage solution. This option uses some type of removable media, such as USB flash drives or external SSD hard drives, to backup data. While these storage devices are available in various sizes of over a terabyte, this backup solution may not be practical for larger environments. This is because it is often necessary to have multiple units depending on the amount of data and number of workstations requiring backup. These removable devices should also be stored offsite to safeguard data in the event of a fire or similar catastrophic event that could destroy any data stored on site. 


Redundancy is a highly successful backup technique, but can be complicated to set up and manage. 

Redundancy involves setting up a second hard drive to copy the computer’s main drive at specific points in time. As an example, a second email server, used as a standby, will back up the main email server at predetermined times. Redundancy requires continual replication between cloned systems and, unless the redundant system is in a remote site, is typically only useful against the failure of a specific system.

Ottawa IT Services and Hardware Appliances

Many vendors in Ottawa provide on and off site backup options that have large storage capacities and integrated backup software. Backup agents are installed on the system, backup schedules are configured and policies are set and the data then streams directly to the backup device. As with other backup options, the storage device should be isolated from the local network to prevent unauthorized access. 

Backup Software

Software-based backup systems are typically harder to configure than hardware appliances, however software backup systems provide greater flexibility.

These backup systems allow organizations to specify which data is to be backed up, how backups are allocated to a specific storage device and manage the backup process automatically. However, while backup archival software allows files to be restored from external hardware within minutes, one external drive will not have enough storage space as data volume grows.

Additionally, using an external drive requires it be deployed on a local network that leaves open the possibility of unauthorized access. 

Ottawa IT Services for Cloud Backup

Many Ottawa technology service providers offer cloud storage solutions like BaaS, standing for Backup as a Service. This backup solution uploads data to a public or private cloud where it can be quickly recovered in the event of data loss. Cloud backup solutions are growing in popularity due to a wide array of advantages that include: 

 • Accessibility: Most cloud services are configured with an easy-to-use interface that provide simple drag-and-drop file transfer. 

 • Security: While hacking is always a concern when connected to the web, most cloud services uses some form of encryption to safeguard data. 

 • Cost Efficient: Cloud data storage services can be scaled to provide backup for an unlimited number of users. 

 • Convenience: Cloud storage service provides file sharing so users can easily exchange documents and collaborate on projects. 

 • Automation: Cloud systems allow for automatic data backup for multiple users and workstations.

 • Fast and easy data recovery: Of all the data backup options, cloud storage provides the best option for disaster recovery.


No organization wants to deal with a lost-data disaster. While developing and maintaining a functional backup system will protect sensitive data from loss, whether a business can fully recover from data loss depends on the frequency of the backup and the thoroughness of the backup system.

In Ottawa, IT services are available to provide data backup services to help recover data quickly and keep downtime to an absolute minimum. Systems can be configured for continuous, hourly or daily backups. Backup systems can be developed to handle all of your data from an entire network or just the most critical files from certain workstations.

Whatever data backup option is chosen, at the end of the day data must be backed up and stored somewhere. Choosing the right solution for an organization will depend on the size of the workforce and the amount of critical data that requires protection from loss.