4 factors to inform your decision-making process
When ITDMs set out to make this decision, there are a few factors they should consider first. From reputation to up-time, it is important to consider every aspect of the big picture. Let’s take a deeper look at each factor that should inform the decision-making process:
When choosing a data backup provider, you’re going to want to consider the reputation that precedes them. Of course, that may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to not let things like lower costs or quicker processes cloud your judgment. Collecting useful, relevant data can take years and the security of that data should be a top priority. Selecting a provider that has a proven history of top-notch service quality is crucial to ensure you’re not handing your precious data over to anyone who isn’t qualified. Don’t be afraid to ask providers for customer references or even about their existing clients. The answers you’re given should speak volumes about the quality of their services.
2. Backup frequency
It’s simple: your day-to-day tasks don’t leave much room, if any, to check if data is backed up. From your everyday meetings to finances, you don’t have enough time in the day to stay on top of backups. As you evaluate service providers, you must ask how frequently they will a) up your data and b) how it will be done. After all, different vendors follow different data backup strategies. While some providers may back up your data as you make changes, others may opt to back up on an hourly, daily, or even monthly basis. At the end of the day, you must choose the provider who suits your business needs the best.
These days, natural disasters and unexpected data loss events can occur at any point in time. When this happens, your data may become inaccessible, making it nearly impossible to continue to run your company’s routine operations. In these cases, you need the tools to be able to swiftly get back to neutral and minimize the impact. When evaluating providers, it’s important to ensure that whoever you end up with has an effective disaster recovery plan in place. Remember: don’t be afraid to ask questions. You deserve to know about the methodology they use to restore lost data.
Finally, before deciding on a data backup provider you must think about up-time. Essentially, the main goal of subscribing to this particular service is to ensure that your data is available to you at any moment. While everyone may dream of a cloud backup service with 100% up-time, it’s just not possible. However, many providers can fulfill up to 99%. Of course, there are a number of factors that affect this number, particularly which tier the vendor falls into. You’ll find that vendors fall within four main tiers, and tier 4 providers are able to give customers the best possible up-time.
Different data center tiers as certified by the Uptime Institute:
- Tier 1: A data center with a single path for power and cooling, and no backup components. This tier has an expected uptime of 99.671% per year.
- Tier 2: A data center with a single path for power and cooling, and some redundant and backup components. This tier offers an expected uptime of 99.741% per year.
- Tier 3: A data center with multiple paths for power and cooling, and redundant systems that allow the staff to work on the setup without taking it offline. This tier has an expected uptime of 99.982% per year.
- Tier 4: A completely fault-tolerant data center with redundancy for every component. This tier comes with an expected uptime of 99.995% per year.