World Backup Day tip: small businesses need more than a basic hard drive

A belated tip for those of you who missed out on World Backup Day this past weekend. It was Easter, and so you’re excused, but if you haven’t found a reason to backup and you own a small business, this is one tip you’ll want to read.

According to some recent research conducted by peripheral maker Buffalo, only ten percent of small and medium-sized businesses are using network attached storage (NAS) drives to backup their data, with many of them opting instead for just the smaller external drives you can buy from any old office supply or electronics store.

“Portable hard drives are great for backing up photos, music collections and personal documents, but they haven’t been built with daily business use in mind,” said Boris Shen, National Business Manager for Buffalo Australia.

“Being portable means they can be more easily misplaced or damaged and they simply don’t offer the same performance or features of a Network Attached Storage device.”

The survey showed exactly what most of us would expect, with most businesses acknowledging that lost data would have a “damaging effect,” while 62 percent of respondents are making backups to external hard drives already.

But not all hard drives are the same, and there are many factors that can determine whether a drive will be good, such as drive speed, connector type, and how often it’s used.

“Business users want fast, frequent, fingertip access to their full library of data,” said Mr. Shen, adding that “NAS devices are faster, can handle multiple users accessing data simultaneously and typically offer larger storage capacities.

“But where NAS devices really come into their own is with features like built-in redundancy, failover and automated backups which provide the highest level of protection against data loss.”

Ultimately, any drive can fail, and so redundancy protection through drives running in RAID, as well as the ability to backup over a network connection are just two of the things that help make these types of drives even more useful for businesses.