September 29, 2009, 5:06 PM — Nag, nag, nag is what I feel like sometimes when talking about backups, but I'm compelled to help people in spite of themselves. The bottom line is simple: lose data, lose dollars. When you talk about some type of disaster, such as fire or theft of your computer hardware, the survival rate for stricken companies without disaster recovery tools and good backups drops into the “hope and prayer” realm of IT management. So lets talk about ways to insulate your company from disaster by playing like the Boy Scouts and being prepared.
The best “no worries” backup option I've seen over the past several years remains the File Engine. A triple-play combination of local file server, local file backup and remote files backup, a FileSafe appliance from File Engine covers all the backup bases and scores easily (do you smell baseball playoffs, too?).
A FileSafe appliance protects your data files three ways. First, it gets files off local client machines and stores them centrally on the FileSafe server. Trusting users to protect their data files leads to disappointment, which is why moving local files to a FileSafe moves the data one step away from clumsy users.
Second, when a user accidentally deletes or mangles a file, the FileSafe acts like a network-based Recycle Bin. Fourteen days worth of file copies, stored on a secure part of the FileSafe disk drive array, make restores fast and easy. Everyone's files are there, and can be recovered by the users or administrators. No users can change or delete any of the saved files, but they can recover them. And isn't that what users want? They don't care about file backup, but they love file recovery.
Finally, all the files are stored remotely from each FileSafe by the File Engine offsite backup service. If you're paranoid about “the cloud” having your files, I say two things. First, get over your paranoia, and second, your files just go to File Engine and nowhere else. Until you relax and become less paranoid, a FileSafe appliance copies your files not to the cloud, but to the company’s data center in Indianapolis. Prices start at $8 a day, or $235 per month, and go up depending on storage and backup volumes.
But the File Engine folks have been busy making the newly tagged FileSafe appliance more useful for more companies. Approved by the Indiana State Bar for file storage, FileSafe also supports the Needles case management software for law offices. In one box, lawyers can get their business software as well as file security, backup, and compliance with regulatory requirements to protect customer data. The standard FileSafe can support Needles at no extra hardware or backup cost.