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The yin and yang of online backup systems

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  • 1. The Yin and Yang of Online Backup SystemsThe Reason to Have an Online Backup SystemConsider: If ever your office or house gets burned or the fireproof box which contains your backup disks getstolen, having installed an online backup system will save a great amount of whining and trouble for you.There are easy ways to backing up online. First, set up a leased line to a remote server, and from there, transferthe data to it at whatever interval you deem appropriate. This method will require extra hardware. Obviously,this is a non-starter for a company that works from only one site. Luckily, you will find various third partiesoffering an online backup service.Your Online Backup Service FeaturesBasically, these backup services work in the same manner. You rent a server space and, subject to a few terms tokeep obscenity out, upload anything you wish. Also, you can restore online, or by paying for a CD of everythingyou have stored on a third partys server. Compression, which are wizards helping you manage your backupfiles, and encryption, are all basic or standard services. Whats so great about the backup service features is the companies themselves wont be able to unencrypt all your data. This means your security is on the lock as these companies basically employ military-strength encryption; even if your files are intercepted in transit, the bad guys wont be able to decipher any of your data. Most backup services are able to upload only elements of a file that have been changed instead of the entire file. This is particularly favorable and important to corporate environments in order to avoid bandwidth problems. Also, most services have virus checking attribute as a standard. It also have a drag and drop interfaces, which are becoming increasingly popular today. You will find many online backup companies allowing backups to be resumed should the connection is lost.Your Online Backup WarningThere will be some companies that will only allow one initial complete backup of a hard drive. However, thetime taken for the first backup of an average PC can exceed 24 hours. On the other hand, the portability betweensystems can be an issue in some cases as some System Administrators may be concerned about bottle necking.When youve finally decided which backup service youll choose, the next step is to think over of what files to bebacked up. It is unlikely that application files will be retrievable from a backup. Its usually needed to be installedusing the companies own programs. Some applications use its own archiving feature with a restore commandthat will not import data from another file.Remember that any files that have been altered by an employee becomes unique to that individuals PC. Withthis, your data should be backed up. Files that can be restored through other means (from existing installationdiscs for instance), need not backing up.As many online backup services duplicate the original file structure, it is worth checking what original data filesto be backed up and filed in a logical way. A confusing file structure or files with obscure names means it couldget in the way of a clean data restore. This can cause complications when applications store information in fileswith unintelligible names or obscure locations by default; email programs are found guilty of this mishaps.