Internet backup

I see a lot of advertising for Internet backup services.  These will backup your data to a remote machine, over your Internet connection.

While these offer the advantage of not having to change tapes, and having your data stored off-site in case of a catastrophic event, they are not necessarily the answer to your backup needs.

Usually, an initial backup of everything is made, and then only the data that has been changed is backed up on an ongoing basis.  While this sounds good in theory, in practice it may not be the best approach.

The issue lies with how your data is stored.  If you have small files that change on a frequent basis, it works okay.  However, most times in a business environment, the files that are changing are quite large.  If you are running a SQL based system, then usually the entire database is stored in one single file.  So, if you update one customer record, the database file changes, and the Internet backup software will transfer the entire database file again.

One of our customers was using an Internet backup service, with SQL based software.  Their database had hit over 70 GB in size.  Since they are a retail business, with stores open 7 days a week, their database was changing every day.  So, every day, their Internet backup would transfer the entire 70 GB of data.  This took most of the day, using up the majority of their high-speed bandwidth.

Non SQL based systems can have the same issue.  Typically, files such as sales history get quite large, often several GB in size.  Post a single sale, which updates the history file, and the entire history file will be transferred over your Internet connection again.

Contact CCS Retail Systems to discuss your best backup plans and options.

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