Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Data backups: The smart person's guide

This guide is an entry-level summary of enterprise backup software.

All of the cutting-edge applications and exotic storage hardware in the world do not matter if your data backups aren't reliable. This guide is an entry-level summary of enterprise backup software.

Executive summary

What it is: Put very simply, backup software makes copies of all the important information on your network and puts it away for safe keeping. The many ways to do this will be explained in this guide.

Why it matters: Data backup matters in case something gets corrupted in your files. But there are many other reasons to make copies of your work, from the obvious to the arcane.

Who this affects: Backup software impacts everyone. Other than storage and system administrators, most people never think about data backups until it's too late; fortunately, most modern backup software operates invisibly to end users, who will be happy that recent copies of their work are readily available when needed.

When this is happening: Backup is nearly as old as data storage. The phrase "IBM and the seven dwarfs" referred to the leading eight mainframe manufacturers in the 1960s — behemoth IBM along with Burroughs, Control Data, General Electric, Honeywell, NCR, RCA, and Univac. Primitive applications to record data backups emerged from this ecosystem as mass storage options — mostly magnetic tape, but also hard disks — made punched cards obsolete.

How to get it: The easiest way to get a data backup application is by purchasing it directly from the software vendor. Of course, the popularity of backing up data onto private and public clouds is a game-changer for purchasing options.

Read the guide

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