Demystifying Data Backup: Recap In Case You Missed It

Did you miss last Thusday’s chat on Twitter about Demystifying Data Backup?

No worries if you missed the chat, because we’ve got a recap of the action for you.

Data backup

We had two subject matter experts from Symantec join us to share their knowledge — and get the conversation rolling.  Yours truly (Anita Campbell, @Smallbiztrends on Twitter) moderated and asked the questions.

Below is a small smattering of the tweets from that chat. There were hundreds and hundreds of tweets, retweets and mentions, so we don’t have room for all of them. We’ve included just enough for a sampling.  In it you’ll find some Bitly links to  resources where you can learn more about data backup, what you need to know, and solutions to give you peace of mind (because after all, that’s what good backup gives you for your business: peace of mind).  And at the end, I’ve included a link to some fun videos — you may not have thought of data backup as being humorous, but you may change your mind after watching them.

Question 1: Most biz owners say they know they SHOULD back up data – why don’t they? #SMBChat

“Small business owners often suffer from “It-Won’t-Happen-to-Me” syndrome. #SMBChat” – Monica Girolami (@backupexec)

“Data keeps growing & backup has become too complex. Many SMB owners don’t backup because they lack resources. #SMBChat” – Amit Walia (@amit_walia)

“I can never seem to remember to back everything up – I need CONSTANT backup! #SMBChat” – Ivana Taylor (@DIYMarketers)

“Disaster recovery is mandatory in many uk fields of business #SMBCHAT” – BlackularX (@BlackularX)

“Many share they’re overwhelmed with the choices and some haven’t documented processes. #SMBchat” – (@webAssistca)

Question 2: Question for participants: have you ever lost data? How many hours or days did it take to recover? #SMBChat

“You can’t cross your fingers and hope for the best. Hope is not an effective form of risk mitigation #SMBchat” – Monica Girolami (@backupexec)

“The longer you’re down, the more money you lose. Average cost of downtime is $12,500 per day #SMBChat”  – Amit Walia (@amit_walia)

“Nearly half of SMBs would lose 40% of their data in a disaster, according to Symantec research: #SMBChat”  – Amit Walia (@amit_walia)

“I’ve had multiple system failures and lost data. Most of the time it is my backup copy that saves me. I use mirror drives now. #smbchat” – TJ McCue (@TJMcCue)

“I was w/o computer for a week. But all data recovered. Would’ve been disaster if had not backed up. #SMBChat” – Randy Mitchell (@FranchiseNC)

“I lost an Outlook file a few years ago. I thought it was being backed up but it wasn’t after all. Luckily didn’t lose too much. #smbchat” – Rebecca Quinn (@RebeccaQuinn)

“About 2 years ago I lost some files that I never did recover #smbchat” – Ileane Smith (@Ileane)

Question 3: Shouldn’t every bit of data be backed up? Why or why not? #SMBChat

“Always do regular backups of the data that keeps your business running, financial and customer records, etc. #SMBChat” – Monica Girolami (@backupexec)

“Automated backup should include all data, but at a minimum manual backup should account for all critical data #SMBChat”  – Amit Walia (@amit_walia)

“It’s good to be prepared but there’s a cost in holding a lot of data you are not really using either – that cost is time #SMBchat” – Pierre Debois (@ZimanaAnalytics)

“Depending on the costs of backup. #SMBchat” – Vedran Tomic (@VedranTomic)

“It’s not just your hard drives & machine. Database too (esp. for WordPress sites). #SMBChat” – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)

“In addition to backups, I can’t stress enough the importance of a data recovery process/plan #SMBchat” – Greg Ortbach (@GregOrtbach)

“Depends of the services, its not necessary to back up all data, for example some kind of binaries, temp data, etc.” – iTECH,C.A. (@CONSULTORAITECH)

Question 4: How does backup differ from disaster recovery – or does it? #SMBChat

“Best practice is to have an onsite and off-site data recovery plan. #SMBChat”  – Monica Girolami (@backupexec)

“Backup is one piece of disaster recovery; SMBs must ensure data is recoverable and test processes #SMBChat”  – Amit Walia (@amit_walia)

“Backup is account for acts of God in a way – the value of backup depends on how frequently the plan is used #SMBChat”  – Pierre Debois (@ZimanaAnalytics)

“Backup is only one element of an effective disaster recovery plan #SMBChat” – Sumeet Sabharwal (@sabhas)

“I think backing up and disaster recovery one and the same. Especially in places prone to disasters like CA #SMBChat” – Katy Tafoya (@katytafoya)

Question 5: What types of backup solutions are available today? #SMBChat

“Great blog post on how to determine the right type of backup for your SMB: #SMBchat #SMBChat”  – Monica Girolami (@backupexec)

“There’s no one-size-fits-all in backup. There are 3 potential solutions: software, appliance and cloud/hosted. #SMBChat”  – Amit Walia (@amit_walia)

“If your biz has closed even one deal, it’s time to move beyond the “email to Gmail” data backup “plan”. #SMBchat” – Corey Donovan  (@coreydonovan)

“RT @amit_walia Dropbox is not backup. Its file share. If you lose the folder you lost it all #SMBchat >holy smokes!” – TJ McCue (@TJMcCue)

“@TJMcCue @symantec @amit_walia #SMBchat is true, i delete the folder in dropbox and lost all! Sadly, i used it as backup and its wrong” – Omar Malavé  (@omalave)

Question 6: How much do backup solutions cost (from $ to $$$$) and what sizes of businesses are they suited for? #SMBChat

“Backup Exec offers a portfolio of solutions with multiple pricing models to meet your business needs – just pay as you grow!! #SMBChat”  – Monica Girolami (@backupexec)

“Cloud-based/hosted backup is ideal for smaller businesses with several servers and computers to protect #SMBChat”  – Amit Walia (@amit_walia)

“Appliances are great for SMBs that want on-site backup/recovery but haven’t invested in storage hardware #SMBChat”  – Amit Walia (@amit_walia)

“Costs can vary… Depending on the level of backup protection you prefer. #SMBChat” – No-IP (@NoIPcom)

Question 7: What if you have a virtual office or remote workers? What are the options? #SMBChat

“Cloud backup is your best bet for remote workers. It’s quick, secure and continuous backup, and reliable recovery #SMBChat”  – Monica Girolami (@backupexec)

“I’ve been doing this for 16+ years now and I use a networked hard drive for my backups – cheap and easy. I use the cloud a lot too #smbchat” – Craig Fifield (@CraigFifield)

Question 8: What are security pros/cons of cloud backup versus local backup? #SMBChat

“Ensure your cloud provider encrypts any data that leaves your business and has an SLA that meets your business needs. #SMBChat”  – Monica Girolami (@backupexec)

“If you’re doing your data backup in the cloud, you’re always protected no matter where you are #SMBChat”  – Amit Walia (@amit_walia)

“Unless you can’t connect to the cloud when you really need the data #SMBchat” – Gail Gardner (@GrowMap)

“Cloud is great for constant backups and revision tracking, but local is good since you usually have an immediate copy #SMBChat” – Charles Costa (@charlescosta)

“With the cloud, are you sure someone’s backing up your backup? Their machine could go down too. #SMBChat” – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)

“@charlescosta I have layers: I back up incrementally, daily to a local drive and then make a full DR copy weekly to the cloud. #SMBchat” – Tristan Bishop (@KnowledgeBishop)

“Yes but have you ever tested each type of backup to make sure they can be restored? @KnowledgeBishop #SMBchat” – Gail Gardner (@GrowMap)

Question 9: Which solutions are suited for DIYers and which require technical staff? #SMBChat

“Cloud does not require dedicated IT; probably best for DIYers. Find more tips here: #SMBchat #SMBChat”  – Monica Girolami (@backupexec)

“Software requires someone locally to manage, appliance can work for SMB with just 1-2 IT people #SMBChat”  – Amit Walia (@amit_walia)

Question 10: How much time does it take to implement backup solutions? And to administer weekly? #SMBChat

“Once configured properly, almost no time at all should be required for maintenance of a backup, tops 4-8 hrs per month. #SMBChat” – Thaddeus Howze (@ebonstorm)

“In the time it takes you to brush your teeth you could have your Symantec backup set-up! Don’t wait #SMBChat”  – Monica Girolami (@backupexec)

“Symantec’s newest Backup Exec installs in less than 10 minutes with 3 steps. Read more here: #SMBChat”  – Amit Walia (@amit_walia)

Question 11: What help is available to review backup solutions? #SMBChat

“Always should ask employees what they think b/c if they’re not using the system, it’s all pointless #SMBChat” – Charles Costa (@charlescosta)

“@charlescosta @eggmarketing Your backup method should NOT depend on your employees to adhere to it. Must work despite them. #SMBChat” – Thaddeus Howze (@ebonstorm)

“One of our SMB customers also offers some common backup mistakes to watch out for: #SMBchat”  – Monica Girolami (@backupexec)

“Symantec or one of our channel partners can help SMB customers choose the best backup solutions #SMBChat”  – Amit Walia (@amit_walia)

“@symantec @smallbiztrends @amit_walia @backupexec Thanks for an informative #SMBchat. Any additional resources on #databackup on the ‘net?” – Martin Lindeskog (@Lyceum)

“like to learn more about #backup go to where you will find a complimentary download. #SMBChat tx @symantec” – – Ramon Ray (@RamonRay)

Additional side discussions with some interesting points:

 TJ McCue asks:

“@joemsie are there any sample documents showing what a “data backup plan” should like? #smbchat” –  TJ McCue  (@TJMcCue)

And Joe Johnson responds:

“@TJMcCue #smbchat old but good advice on backup plan”  Joe Johnson  (@joemsie)

Vedran concludes his comments by asking:

“Who will do a backup tonight? #SMBchat” – Vedran Tomic (@vedrantomic)

The Subject Matter Experts

Many thanks to SMBChat’s subject matter experts for sharing their expertise:

Amit Walia  (@amit_walia): Vice President of Symantec

Monica Girolami (@BackupExec): of Symantec

And many thanks to Symantec for sponsoring SMBChat and making its subject matter experts available for this event. Finally, for something fun, watch these Symantec videos of Hal, an IT Administrator.  (I love the line about how he backed up a presentation 200 times in 200 emails…)

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.