Over the past few years, the IT world has experienced exponential change. Along with the move to remote or hybrid (shifting between office and remote), workplaces also came the increased risk of data security gaps and unprotected data. Ransomware has also become a serious and more frequent issue, with bad actors holding your data hostage. That’s where World Backup Day comes in.
Friday, March 31st, 2023 is the day when the world makes a collective commitment to backing up their data, from important business documents to family photos, videos, and emails.
Originally the March 31st date was chosen as a humorous nod to April Fool’s Day (April 1st) which symbolizes the idea that you’d have to be a fool not to back up your data. But World Backup Day serves as a reminder that it’s important to think about your backups every day.
The good news is that backup isn’t that hard to do – The hardest part is just getting around to doing it. You’ve probably heard about countless different backup methods, but which one is right for you?
1. Local Backups for your Mac or Windows
Time Machine is a local backup solution for your mac. It is a simple software that backs up every file on your Mac incrementally, with only new and modified files being copied with each backup. Time Machine then creates a “snapshot” of your Mac as it appeared at that time.
Windows backup and restore, backs up most of your personal data to your Microsoft account, but it isn’t intended to fully restore your system, if you have a hard drive failure. Microsoft doesn’t have a utility (like Apple’s Time Machine) but there are third-party backup offerings out there that do the job.
2. Cloud Services for personal file backup
With so many of us working from home offices, having reliable cloud storage is more important than ever before. Cloud storage services keep your data safe with encryption, while offering free or reasonably priced storage space. Data is kept in a secure remote location and can be accessed from anywhere if you have internet access.
Some well-known providers of cloud storage that are worth a look at World Backup Day:
- iCloud: Apple’s cloud solution (Windows users can also sync files with iCloud Drive)
- Google Drive: Android Devices. Windows and Mac users can download a desktop application for drag-and-drop capability.
- OneDrive: Accessible through Windows 11’s file explorer. Android and iOS devices require an app. Mac users can also use an app from the Apple Store.
- Backblaze – works on both Windows and macOS
- pCloud – A European-based secure cloud storage provider. pCloud allows its users to choose where they want their data to be stored, either in the EU or US
3. Data Backups on External Hard Drives
External drives (HDD), Solid State Drives (SDD), and Portable drives come in many shapes and sizes and connect to a computer. They’re usually wired (although not all). Some get power through USB, and some require a plug. Many now also come with USB 3.0 features. External drives enable you to back up using the computer’s built-in backup features (mac and windows).
Some well-known Hard Drive vendors that are worth a look at World Backup Day: Western Digital, Seagate, Samsung
4. Network Attached Storage (NAS)
NAS refers to an external storage device that attaches to a network and allows multiple users, computers, and other devices to store data on a drive found in a central location (the office, or your home). Unlike external hard drives and portable SSDs, NAS devices can connect to the internet and offer the flexibility that other storage solutions lack – the ability to access your files from anywhere in the world.
If you’re an average user who uses a computer for work or entertainment, then using a USB flash drive or Portable SSD may meet your storage needs. However, if you have a large family to share multimedia files with, or your requirements for storage space are high, NAS is a cost-effective option long term, compared to the recurring costs associated with using cloud services.
Some common NAS Brands (available in the US and Europe): Synology, QNAP, Asustor, Western Digital.
5. Protecting Data in Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft’s Trust Center is Microsoft’s one-stop clearing house for information about Microsoft policies, privacy, data protection rules, security, and more. This is where customers go to understand how Microsoft manages data and keeps it confidential.
Microsoft operates off the “Microsoft 365 Shared responsibility model” where they back up all the services, but you are responsible for backing up your data in those services. You have the option to create data retention policies. These policies allow you to preserve all the data even when it’s removed.
Microsoft offers the ability to configure Azure Backup deployments (for example, Recovery Services vault, Backup Policy) and concepts (for example, governance) and how to think of them and their capabilities with links to detailed product documentation. See the best practices
Third-Party Backup offerings: There are various options when it comes to backing up your Office 365 data. Both in vendors, but also with how and where you are going to backup your data (on premise or in the cloud). It’s important to make sure when choosing a solution- these offerings handle backup of the data you need whether that be Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, or Planner.
6. Backup HCL Notes and HCL Domino
On the HCL Collaboration platform, you can backup and/or Archive Domino databases:
- Domino built-in back up enables the backup of Domino data for recovery. Backups occur on a schedule and are overwritten during a typical backup cycle. Each new backup reflects changes and deletions that have occurred on the Domino databases.
- Domino Archive – HCL has built in Domino archiving functionality (see Configuring policies which enables future access to Domino data. The HCL Notes NSF archive file stores copies of Notes documents which can be searched or accessed. See (Understanding mail archiving and Policies)
7. panagenda Analytics Solutions
panagenda Analytics Solutions provide detailed analytics, actionable insights and admin automation enabling efficient management over your collaboration platforms. We take the World Backup Day pledge seriously all year long:
panagenda MarvelClient: Offers safety through it’s roaming features: See “A Golden Solution for device swaps, mistakes and accidents“
The panagenda iDNA Applications and GreenLight solutions run on VMWare and Hyper-V platforms. Virtual machines can be backup by following the recommended procedures (see Back up Hyper-V virtual machines and Virtual Machine Backup Guide).
Enpoint Performance Monitoring: Our EPM offering for Microsoft 365 is a SaaS solution that’s runs entirely in multiple Azure Tenants of panagenda and follows all backup policies instituted for services that run on Azure.
So you’ve joined the World Backup Day… WHAT NOW?
Crazy as it sounds, your backup is only as good as a restore. We strongly suggest that once you choose your backup format, take the extra step and try restoring your data before you actually need to. If there are any issues in the backup plan you choose, you’ll want to find them before disaster strikes.
There are many ways to back up your data. We’ve covered many of those here. None are guaranteed to be complete. Ideally, you should have multiple backup plans in place to fully secure your work. There is a common rule in data known as the “The 3-2-1 Rule” which basically states the following: There should be 3 copies of your data, on at least 2 different media, with one of those copies being off-site. Following this suggested World Backup Day “best practices” along with evaluating which forms of backup work best for your situation can help you plan for nearly any failure scenario.