Backup Here, Backup There, Backup Everywhere

By James E. Gaskin, Network World |  Storage, Backup & Recovery

More interestingly, the FileSafe tower has a new little sibling the size of a hardback book that plays the role of dedicated server for QuickBooks Enterprise. It doesn't act as a local file server for general users, but does save all QuickBooks Enterprise files back to FileSafe's data center automatically. Stepping up to QBE usually means paying thousands for a Windows server and client licenses, but for around $100 per month plus or minus depending on association discounts and configuration, the smaller FileSafe hosts and protects your QuickBooks Enterprise data. Just like it's big brother, it's remotely monitored and managed 24x7 by File Engine. In case of some type of disaster, the company says it can replace the hardware and all your data overnight. Isn't that better than the disaster recovery option you have now? You know, the one you're going to get to soon?

Another hardware backup appliance takes a slightly different approach. 3X Systems <http://www.3x.com> lets you create your own remote backup data center. Buy the company’s box, put it on your network, and copy your files locally. Then carry the box offsite and connect it to the Internet. You can take it to your home, another business location, or your Internet Service Provider or Web host company. Once installed remotely, the system connects back to your office by linking through the 3X relay system, and backs up only the parts of files that change. Whenever you specify, like every night, the changed files are backed up to the remote hardware, either a desktop cube or a 1U rack mounted server.

You buy the 3X backup appliance, rather than pay for it by the month like the FileSafe servers. Depending on backup disk capacity and model, prices range from $2,495 to $7,995. If you're cloud paranoid to the extreme, you can backup your data remotely to a hardware device you control. Perhaps the Paranoids of America Club (that's a joke, not a conspiracy warning) could endorse 3X, but they never trust anyone enough to endorse anything (another joke).

Those who trust not only the cloud for backup but also their fellow business owners should check out a new twist on remote backup from Symform. Every business has extra server disk space, and every business needs to backup offsite. Symform put those two needs together and developed a way to backup your data by spreading it across other members of the Symform customer base. If it was still the Cold War, we might call this Communist. Now we should probably call it green and environmental and new-agey, because it's the Symform Cooperative Storage Cloud. No, they're not in San Francisco, but Seattle, formed by some former Microsoft folks.

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