Data backup as a process is (or should be!) a critical part of an organization’s system, making sure that full data recovery is always possible if something happens that results in data loss. There are a plethora of different events and situations that may result in a company losing some or all of its data, and this is where remote backups may well help.
Local and remote data backups
Storing a copy of an organization’s data within the same system or physically close to the organization’s office is not the only possible option. Various remote storage locations can also be used for that same purpose. Generally speaking, there are two main destinations for backup volumes to go to – local and remote.
Local backups are typically created and stored within the same physical space (and typically accessible immediately, due to its close proximity). These backup are often used to restore data from events that did not affect the entire organization, for example, damage to an independent or local database.
Remote backups, on the other hand, are another option that companies may want to turn to when there’s literally nothing left of the backup up data in its original storage location – including local backups (as a cause of a natural disaster, for example). In the majority of cases the data is transferred to and from the data source to remote storage locations using either WAN or the Internet.
Remote data backup features
As with any backup operation, remote backup offers a large choice of methods to choose from, be it free remote backup solutions or paid ones. The list of features that a regular remote backup solution provides can be divided in two groups – features that are offered practically universally, and features that are somewhat more exclusive.
The list of general features for free remote backup solutions typically includes:
- Scalability, to some extent. Your free remote backup service should be capable of adapting to the inevitable growth of an organization’s data volume.
- Shared and secure environment for backups. The safeguarding of your data should be guaranteed by way of specific protection measures to prevent your data from being used without authorization.
- Access your backups from anywhere. This allows you to have access to your backed up data from desktops, phones, tablets, and so on.
- The amount of resources used. It’s important to have a clear view of what the expenses are in regards to both the storage costs and the potential internet bandwidth used- on an ongoing basis - to prevent unwanted or unforseen expenses.
More sophisticated features may be required that are more likely to be found in premium remote backup solutions. Some of these features may be:
- Backup scheduling. This allows you to configure your own backup policy that would operate independently with minimal interference.
- Configured to prefer lowered bandwidth usage. Depending on the amounts of data that your company has, this might be one of the more important points, as it allows you to take advantage of when your bandwidth usage is lower and then using this window for the backup, and to control this time frame to some extent.
- Data encryption. This goes for both data in the process of transfer, as well as the data at rest. The encryption can also be done on the client’s hardware, or through the process that manages the entire remote backup software system.
- Deduplication and compression. This is one of the ways to improve bandwidth usage instead of simply restricting it. Both deduplication and compression are options that can make the overall backup sizes smaller and to reduce the volume of data that needs to be transferred to a remote location.
Advantages of free remote backup solutions
Using the remote data backup strategy allows for a number of general advantages, including:
- Growth capacity
- Cost saving
- Remote access to backed up data, and so on.
Use of remote backups is often highly advisable, since any organization can potentially be negatively affected by an unpredictable event that could destroy its data, including the on-premise backups. This is exactly a situation where remote backups can be invaluable, even if as a last-resort safety measure to safeguard an organizations’ data after the disaster occurs.
Regarding third-party backup software that offers both local and remote backups – Bacula provides a platform that easily interoperates with local, remote, edge and other kinds of storage destinations. It is generally recognized as the best free remote backup software, due to the sheer amount of features and capabilities that it provides with no cost at all. Bacula is capable of performing various backup, recovery and verification operations, is easy to use and has a modular design that allows it to easily scale to almost any company size.
All in all, if you’re looking for the best free remote backup software – Bacula might just be the solution for you. Find out more about Bacula’s capabilities here.