In recognition of World Backup Day, this March 31st, we are highlighting the essential role played by senior management in making sure organizations have proper data backup systems in place.

Backup is a critical component of Corporate Risk Management and Business Continuity. Data backup plans are often necessary to fulfill corporate compliance requirements. Since data availability is vital to the success of most businesses, senior management needs to be sure backup and restoral programs are properly structured and funded to mitigate corporate risks.

Though most senior executives are not data backup experts, they should understand the fundamentals. Corporate leadership must approve the data designated as critical to their company’s operations. They must be sure adequate backup plans are in place to protect this data. This is part of senior management’s responsibility to allocate the resources needed to manage corporate risk.

5 Data Backup Questions for Management

Senior managers should be able to answer the following questions.

  1. What is the most critical business application at your company?
  2. How long can this critical business application be out of service before your business suffers an unacceptable loss?
  3. How frequently does your company backup the data from this critical business application?
  4. What is the longest time data for this critical business application can be lost without being restored?
  5. How long does your company store the back-ups for this critical business application?

Data Backup Considerations

There are many ways to back-up critical company data. Data can be copied to removable media, backed-up to another local storage device, and/or replicated to Private or Public Cloud-based storage. Regardless of the backup methodology chosen, there are several backup principles to follow.

  1. Multiple backup copies should be made.
  2. Backups should be stored in different locations.
  3. Backups should be archived on different types of storage media.
  4. There should be an ability to encrypt data transmitted to remote storage devices.

Public Cloud or Private Cloud?

Blue Hill/CAPS is one of the few Veeam Cloud Connect service providers in the Northeast that offers backup and replication services provisioned entirely from company owned regional data centers. These 100% Private Cloud services offer the greatest level of control and security with superior performance and cost-effectiveness. For clients with demanding compliance requirements, there is no better choice.

Colocation is on the rise. Organizations are moving servers and other IT infrastructure to data centers to free up resources for Digital Transformation initiatives. In Connecticut there are more than a dozen different companies that provide colocation services ranging in size from large global corporations to small local operations.

It is useful to segment the market by size. Each size class offers a unique mix of services.

Large Colocation Service Providers

There are several large companies in Connecticut that provide colocation services on a global basis. They have dozens of data centers located in many cities across the United States and overseas. These large companies target the wholesale market by selling services to companies like Apple, AWS, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. They also offer retail colocation services to larger enterprise clients.

Large colocation service providers offer a complete range of services but are often less flexible in terms of providing customized services and generally do not offer IT consulting services.

Mid-Sized Colocation Service Providers

Connecticut also is home to several mid-sized colocation data centers. These providers feature a complete range of services and offer customized solutions to satisfy specific client requirements. Mid-sized providers often operate several data centers in a particular region. They can leverage their data centers to provide unique, cost-effective solutions for their local clients.

Mid-sized colocation service providers rarely serve the wholesale market and usually do not offer IT consulting services beyond those directly associated with their core offerings.

Small Colocation Service Providers

Small colocation providers in Connecticut are frequently Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who have added a data center resource to supplement their IT consultancies. Some of these smaller colocation companies focus on select vertical markets such as manufacturing or healthcare. They provide services that are tailored to the unique requirements of a particular industry.

Small colocation service providers may not offer a full range of IT infrastructure services and may not be able to connect to other company owned data centers to provide cost effective data backup.

How to Choose a Colocation Service Provider?

Selecting a colocation service provider is an important decision. Here are the top three things to consider.

  1. Define Your Colocation Requirements

Make sure your colocation partner can deliver the specific services you need. Identify your absolute requirements and your “nice to haves” before starting the procurement process. You will need to determine your rack space, power, and internet bandwidth requirements plus other services needed such as Remote Hands.

  1. Establish Your Location Preference

The location of the colocation data center is probably the second most important consideration. The distance between your current facility and the data center is based on where you can adequately minimize risk while maintaining the accessibility your IT team requires. In many cases, the location of the homes of key employees with respect to the data center is most important.

  1. Determine Cost

Minimizing the Total Cost of Ownership is important too but make sure you are comparing apples with apples when you evaluate colocation service proposals from different vendors. For example, it is common for Large Colocation Service Providers to assess Monthly Recurring Charges for Cross Connects. Small and mid-sized colocation providers may not assess these monthly fees.

Connecticut has a variety of Colocation Service Providers ranging from small to mid-sized to large. Organizations interested in colocation should prioritize their requirements and then evaluate alternatives from those service providers that are best suited to fulfill their needs. Once you make your choice and move your servers you will be able to focus your IT resources on the challenges of Digital Transformation.