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6.75 min to readDigital Workplace

How to choose a data backup provider

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Sanjay MiyangerVirtualization & Storage Specialist
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Data backup is an essential function for every business. So how do you choose the right backup provider for your organization? Here is a guide to help you decide.

Data backup – the process of copying or archiving files so they can be restored in case of data loss – should be an essential part of any organization’s disaster recovery plan. Yet, research has found that in 40% of cases, the reason for data loss is a hardware failure. This is a worrying statistic given that organizations today are generating, gathering, and storing greater volumes of data than ever before. If this data is lost, stolen, or compromised, it would greatly impact the company’s ability to continue operating. It is important that companies consider data backup as an irreplaceable last line of defense. Data management gives businesses the necessary tools to secure themselves from data loss and rapidly recover to eliminate downtime and reduce risks.

At the same time, legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires businesses to be capable of recalling data at the click of a button, or face a hefty fine – in short, backing data up is a 'must have' rather than a 'nice to have'. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) agrees – advising organizations of all sizes to regularly back up their data to ensure quick recovery in the event of a disaster, and to also protect from ransomware and malware attacks.

For those seeking a backup solution, there are many vendors to choose from, though this can make it difficult for IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) to know which one best meets their needs. Let’s walk through how to select a data backup provider that suits your organization perfectly and the factors that should go into your decision.

Ensuring you stay 'always on'

When it comes to choosing a backup provider, there are two key questions ITDMs must ask. Firstly, does the provider offer a hybrid solution, and secondly, does it help you meet your compliance responsibilities? Let’s take a look at each of those questions in turn.


First, it is important to check if a provider can offer a hybrid solution for storage and backup – this allows you to preserve local storage of important and frequently used data from systems where high availability is needed, while migrating longer-term backups to a scalable cloud resource. This makes sure your business-critical systems are ‘always on’, and because a hybrid solution can deal with peaks and troughs of activity, you’ll only pay for the resource you use.


Second, ensure a solution makes it easy to retrieve backed up data in the event of a request to erase or 'forget' under GDPR, but that it will not automatically recover deleted data into the live system during a restoration. Just because it might be 'technically difficult' there’s no excuse to contravene the rules – so ask potential providers these questions to ensure you satisfy GDPR requirements.

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:

1. Reputation

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.

3. Recoverability

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.

4. Uptime

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.

How SoftwareOne can help

Here at SoftwareOne, we work with many backup and storage providers and can help you ask the right questions to ensure the lifeblood of the modern organization – your data – remains secure, accessible, and compliant.  From backup frequency to disaster recovery plans, you need to explore every avenue before making your final decision.

Our service BackupSimple powered by Metallic is secure, scalable, comprehensive, and affordable and will help lead you down the path to success. Smart companies are modernizing with cloud-based managed services to increase security, improve productivity and save costs, and BackupSimple can do just that with our:

  • Expertise & Talent: 24 x 7 x 365 end-to-end backup, monitoring and recovery service supported by our team of backup experts
  • Team Productivity: Consolidate backup solutions into a single console with a 360° overview across environments, giving increased transparency and control of data
  • Improved Security: Virtually air-gapped backup copies, zero-trust access controls, and built-in security protocols for advanced ransomware protection
  • Cost Reduction and Predictability: Save money and dynamically scale by reducing unnecessary hardware, maintenance, and support contracts with integrated storage and silent backups.
  • Reduce IT recruitment, training and churn costs with our dedicated team of experts.
  • With SoftwareOne, you’ll walk away knowing you’ve chosen a provider that is perfectly suited to your business needs.
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Digital Workplace Security

SoftwareOne Digital Workplace Security Services add security without contributing to your staffing overhead. We operate a dedicated security operations center (SOC) that tracks data vulnerabilities globally to prevent losses due to break-ins or employee errors.


A man in a blue shirt smiling for the camera.

Sanjay Miyanger
Virtualization & Storage Specialist