Data Storage

Data Backup Providing Enterprise Data Protection for Business

The requirement for backup software is growing due to the diverse range of IT systems now in place and increasing threat of ransomware. A backup is designed to protect valuable information against data loss and provide instant recovery of files, volumes or complete systems, with minimum administration and be capable of restoring information quickly in order to get your business and users up and running. A backup solution might also be able to backup IOT, tablets, mobile phones and traditional servers, desktops, notebooks and storage arrays. But this isn’t always the case and there are many types of software specifically designed to backup these individual areas.

backup software

Why bother backing up data?

Businesses create daily all types of information, this is stored on many different varieties of protected storage platforms including RAID, NAS, Cloud, Software Defined, SSD, Flash etc. When a backup is performed it is a type of business insurance, if something happens your data will be protected and the data restoration works when required. Protecting data is part of a business requirement, for peace of mind and against the following:

  • Computer and storage system are not 100% reliable and occasionally fail
  • Ransomware is the fastest growing threat to businesses today
  • Disgruntled employees
  • Power outage
  • Human error
  • Malicious attack
  • Acts of nature
  • Fire/Flood
  • Software fault

Backup Software Locations

What to look for in a backup application

With ever decreasing backup windows and 7x24 operations, choosing the correct type of backup software is critical. The type software you choose should also be able to backup everything in your current environment including Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, Linux, and Unix as well as all the applications these systems run.

  • What backup clients and targets are supported?
  • Ability to restore individual mailboxes, messages, and files
  • Perform image backups from virtual machines
  • Data encryption on the tape device and across the WAN
  • Single management GUI
  • Bandwidth throttling/scheduling
  • Continuous backup
  • Perform multiple backup streams
  • Utilise data deduplication
  • Comprehensive reporting
  • Easy to use and install
  • Agent-less backup
  • How is it licensed i.e. capacity or agent, front or back end?
  • Can the jobs be managed centrally?

Software Functionality

From the list below, you should be able to select the features you need to backup your environment.

  • File or Block based
  • Snapshot/Image
  • Corporate governance
  • Reporting
  • Archive functionality
  • Single instance
  • Disaster recovery restore
  • Storage/Server/Desktop/Notebook
  • Data deduplication
  • Compression
  • Disk/Tape/Cloud support
  • Cloud Backup
  • Backup appliances
  • Local/Remote replication

Types of backup

Software today can utilise a combination of disk-to-disk, disk-to-disk-to-tape, disk to tape, disk to Cloud, site to site etc. The software could also support data deduplication to reduce your backup volumes by 20:1. Whilst tape isn't as popular, it still has a big part to play in backups. The biggest benefit in using tape media as a backup medium is that it provides up to 12TB native of capacity from an LTO-8 tape, is removable and offers the lowest cost per TB of any other storage media. It can also be used as part of a tiered archiving solution as shown below.


Where is all this data coming from?

Unstructured data is the biggest headache today for any organisation trying to control and manage data. The unstructured data consumes over 70% of all information stored and is growing at 61% per annum!

What is unstructured data?

Firstly, let's understand what we are dealing with. Unstructured data is the information which is typically not stored in a database.
Unstructured data manifests itself in two ways:

  1. “TEXT” can be e-mail, texts, word documents, presentations, messaging systems, Twitter, Facebook etc.
  2. “RICH MEDIA” can be images, sound files, movie files etc.

As we have explained, unstructured data consumes vast amounts of storage, but another consideration is legislation. Where this data resides is important if you need to retrieve the information for a compliance audit or lawsuit.

  • data can be of any type
  • not necessarily following any format or sequence
  • does not follow any rules
  • is not predictable

Structured Data

This type of data is organised and easily accessible such as databases and large search indexes. This type of data is also very fast to retrieve and interrogate for analysis or usage patterns.


  • data is organised in semantic chunks (entities)
  • similar entities are grouped together (relations or classes)
  • entities in the same group have the same descriptions (attributes)
  • descriptions for all entities in a group (schema)

Technology creates more data

Modern technology, mobile devices, IoT all contribute to increased data generation. Mobile phone apps, improved camera resolutions, easier access to more applications along with CCTV, recorded video now at 1080P/2K/4K/8K. Our everyday office applications create larger files as information is embedded in the documents. Operating systems and software applications now have larger file sizes. In addition to this, hard disk sizes have dramatically increased with 16TB 3.5" drives due within the next year and we tend to keep everything forever which doesn't help when trying to decipher business information from private individuals information.

Cloud backup

A cloud backup is fine, but you have to consider what you are backing up, how long you need to store it in the cloud and how many copies do you need. if we take the cost per GB of £0.01 to store data in the cloud 1TB would cost £120.00 per year, considering many companies have 50TB.

So how much would it cost to store 50TB of backup data in the cloud for 2 years based on a 40% increase in data year on year?

If we take 240 working days (excluding weekends and bank holidays) and we only take daily backups. So 40% of 50TB = 20TB /240 = 83.33GB per day increase year 1, 40% of 70TB = 28TB /240 = 116.66GB per day increase year 2.

Year 1 Cloud backup cost per month Year 2 Cloud backup cost per month
First backup 50TB
Month 1 51.66TB
Month 2 53.32TB
Month 3 54.98TB
Month 4 56.65TB
Month 5 58.31TB
Month 6 59.98TB
Month 7 61.65TB
Month 8 63.31TB
Month 9 64.98TB
Month 10 66.64TB
Month 11 68.31TB
Month 12 69.98TB
Month 13 72.31TB
Month 14 74.64TB
Month 15 76.97TB
Month 16 79.31TB
Month 17 81.64TB
Month 18 83.97TB
Month 19 86.31TB
Month 20 88.64TB
Month 21 90.97TB
Month 22 93.31TB
Month 23 95.64TB
Month 24 97.97TB
£7,797.76 £18,014.56 2 Year Total

You would also need to factoring in the cost for restores and additional copies. Fundamentally the cost of storing data in the cloud looks attractive compared to many on-premise solutions. The issue, however, is that in the UK our WAN links are incredibly expensive and are not large enough to handle the bandwidth requirements. If we want to transfer to the cloud 1TB of data over a 50Mb/s link with 100% availability and 24 hours it would take 44.44 hours! Now should a disaster strike and we need to urgently restore 10TB of data assuming our download speed is the same as our upload speed it would take 444.40 hours or 18.5 days. View our bandwidth calculator to find out your transfer speeds.

We would always advocate a hybrid solution that holds possibly all last months backups with an on-premise solution as well as the cloud. This way you should be able to restore your last full backup or files instantly without impacting the WAN.

How can we help?

If you would like to know more about the backup software solutions we provide please complete the form below or call us on 01256 331614.



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