An Internet Backup adds another layer of defense to your backup strategy augmenting your Onsite and Portable USB drive backups.
The Ultimate Offsite Backup
An offsite backup (a full backup that you keep outside of the office) is essential in the event of a fire, theft, floor or a Ransomware attack. In those events its likely that any backup remaining onsite will be destroyed. You’ll be dependent on recovering your Practice from your off site backup.
Can you be sure about your Portables?
MME usually incorporates a portable USB drive in our backup strategy for most practices (learn more about our backup strategies here). You or one of your team ‘rotates’ a USB backup drive connected to the Server. Usually there are a handful of drives in the pool, from two to five of them (one for each day of the week). The idea being that each day a new drive is swapped in, and the drive from last night is packed away safely and taken offsite.
A big advantage of this type of backup is that the portable USB drive backup will have a FULL copy of the entire server backed up on it. This is because the Acronis Backup Software we typically use makes ‘Image’ based backups – identical backups of the Server that includes the Windows installation, all the configurations to it, all the apps AND all your data files. Everything in a simple ready to restore package. This will greatly assist restoring the entire Server in a crisis.
The problems that exist with this approach are:
- Have the drives actually been getting changed out as planned? Even if its a little bit irregular (they forget for a day or two) that represents losing one or two DAYS of Practice data. This can have a huge impact.
- Ransomware is getting ever more sophisticated, and they’ve learned that people often have just two backup drives, so they wait for three days before ‘going off’. This allows time for the infected files to be written to both portable drives, and leaves no unpolluted version of the data to restore. The problem here is that there isn’t enough retention (number of restore points) we can roll back far enough to.
A way to augment the weaknesses of the Portable USB drive backup is to layer on an Internet Backup of the data files only. If we configure an Internet Backup service to run continuously keeping a copy of the data that changes each day, we can in-fill the portable USB backup in a disaster.
Consider if after a disaster the most recent portable USB drive backup is three days old. We can restore the entire server quickly using that, getting your business going with at least 3 day old data. We can then augment the missing data by downloading the most current data that changed in those three days from the most recent Internet backup versions. By combining the two approaches we give you the best possible chance of recovery.
Internet Backups usually maintain a much deeper retention. Often we have 30 days or more of restore options. This could be a life saver in a ransomware situation where we’ve run out of options to restore from a local backup.
The one drawback of the Internet Backup compared to the local USB drive backup is speed. We have to squish your data out your Internet connection. The upload speeds of most Internet connections are very slow (compared to a local USB drive), and backing up an entire server each night isn’t even close to feasible. As a result an Internet Backup is tailored to only backup your data files. For example, your Word documents, not the Word Application or Windows. As such it only has to upload the data files that are created or changed each day. This is a much more manageable task. The speed issue matters during a recovery too. If you had a disaster and needed to restore a large amount of data from the Internet Backup, it could take literally DAYS to download it all. Again, using the combined approach of the local USB drive to restore most of the bulk data and the Internet Backup to restore any missing pieces gets the best of both worlds.
MME has partnered with Industry leading Internet Backup provider Carbonite. We’ve been using Carbonite with our clients for over a decade and we know it will work well for you. Their solutions are HIPAA compliant.
With Carbonite we know we’ll have 30+ days of retention to go back far enough to recover your data if necessary.
Carbonite provides us with a terrific Management Portal where we can monitor the status of your backups each day, and detect and resolve problems quicker if they occur.
MME offers Carbonite backup as a Managed Service. The cost of the service is entirely dependent on the amount of data you have to backup. The fees are based upon:
- Carbonite Office Backup – for Servers
- $599 per year and includes 500GB of initial storage
- Additional Storage is available for $99 per year for each 100GB
- Carbonite Personal – for Workstations and Home PCs
- $84 per year and includes UNLIMITED storage
- Cannot be used on Servers (dang!)
- Does not automatically backup video files (can be tagged manually)
For example, a server with 600GB of data would cost $698 per year ($599 for the first 500GB plus $99 for the extra 100GB needed). An iCAT X-ray PC workstation with 1TB or more of data would simply be the flat fee of $84 per year.
Getting Started is Easy!
If you’re ready to add the extra security of an Internet Backup to your Practice (or even your Home PC or Mac), the next step is to contact your MME Project Manager. We’ll do a quick initial evaluation of how much data you have, what it would cost to backup, and if your Internet connection speed is up to snuff. Please give us a call today!