While researching the best data protection and backup strategy for my data I decided that the best strategy would be to use tiered or multiple solutions. I came to this conclusion based on the amount and type of data that I needed to protect and back up on a regular basis.
The main method of backup that I wanted to pursue is using an online backup solution as it is the easiest and most automated method – set it up and let it go. The downside of using an online solution is if large amounts of data need to be backed up as this can take a lot time and can incur additional costs with the online backup provider.
In addition to having a good backup I also wanted to build in redundancy to my solution so I know all of my data is backed up and protected in more than one location. To accomplish this task I ended using three different services as a starting point to protect my most important data.
Listed below are the three services that I selected for data protection along with a short description of how I am utilizing the service. Future articles will provide more detail about how to setup and use each service or product for you data protection needs.
Norton 360 virus protection also comes with a backup utility that can be used to back up data to different locations. These include an external hard drive, USB drive, different location on the hard drive (not recommended) or to Norton online.
The Norton online backup comes with a limited amount of space but more can be purchased if additional space is needed. Once the backup is setup and the initial backup has run only changed files will be uploaded on the set schedule.
I implemented this solution for my older data files – Word, Excel, etc. along with my business and client files.
SharePoint is a Microsoft product that can be used for document management, data sharing and collaboration. SharePoint is typically geared towards large companies that need easily share and collaborate on data but with cloud services growing in popularity SharePoint can be utilized by anyone with a computer and Internet connection.
A great feature of SharePoint is that your files are accessible via a web browser so data is accessible from any computer or laptop.
This solution I used for my current working files and any files I need access to all the time. In the future I might add older files for an additional level of backup.
Hosted Exchange Email
Microsoft Exchange is typically a corporate level email system that is used with Microsoft Outlook for accessing and organizing email. Like SharePoint above Exchange hosting is becoming a more popular solution for email hosting and management.
I decided to go for a hosted email solution as it gives me the flexibility to download and organize my email locally while keeping the email online for backup. With my old email service if I downloaded my email and organized into folders the service did not keep track of the folders so I would have to back up my local email file manually and it can get really large.
Another great feature of Exchange is the email includes a calendar, contacts and to-do list capabilities along with the ability to synchronize my email, calendar and contacts with my phone.
The only data that I have not determined how to backup is all my music as I have a rather large music library that would take a lot of time to upload. I am thinking that the need to back up my music is a great excuse to finally buy myself an iPod!