In this age of digitalization, hardly can anyone deny their reliance on the internet. From personal usage to business operations, web surfing and data sharing have taken everyone by storm. This surfing would not have been possible if there would have no servers.
It doesn’t matter if you are using the internet for your personal use or for some corporate use. Your data is always prone to cyber-attacks and natural disasters. Servers, being the fundamental facilitators, reserve the right to get more protection.
Imagine a situation where you are running a business and have your customized servers. Owing to the amount of business data and commitments, you cannot even afford a bit of data loss and network disconnection.
Keeping this in view, having a backup strategy for the business server is nonetheless- a wise strategy. Let’s first get to know about the need and operationality of business servers.
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Why should Businesses have their own Servers?
With the growth of the business, organizations often add computers into their business to improve efficiency. However, this sole purpose of efficiency scaling can diminish if systems are prone to cyber discrepancies.
A common example of such discrepancy can be a poor internet connection and less data security. Eventually, sharing of critical business information over multiple computers motivates businesses to install their own server. Such customized and personalized server is known as a business server.
Working of Business Server
The server is basically a type of computer, but the possibility exists that it may lack some necessary peripherals such as a monitor, keyboard or mouse. They are the computers having high-speed RAMs, high-powered processors and multiple storage options. These storage options can typically be extended to tape drives or hard drives.
Combination of these high-powered components along with the network interface, let these computers to deliver hi-fi performance as compared to desktops. This is what makes a conventional computer different from the server.
Business servers can perform multiple jobs. These multiple jobs cover everything from printer management to file storage and database management. The server is the secure and more centralized method for data storage and sharing. Owing to the company size, there can be more than one server. In this case, each server is dedicated to performing a specific job.
Working principle of business server employs a client-server model. Here all desktop computers of the business are connected to a common server, through a local area network (LAN). For any task, these desktops request services from the server, such as accessing a file or printing a document. These servers, in turn, respond back by providing a requested service.
Apart from this, servers also aid in securing a data protection mechanism. This is done by employing a technology known as Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID). RAID makes sure that no data loss should occur. For this, RAID makes redundant copies of data on multiple hard drives. While practically it looks as if all hard drives are being operated as a single hard drive.
Why is there a need to Backup a Business Server?
Just as we brush our teeth to eliminate the probability of oral cavity, same goes for backup servers. In order to save businesses from the hassle of data loss, it is important that businesses should regularly back up their servers.
This process can be done automatically or manually. But if you are still not convinced, following are the reasons why should business servers be backed up?
The Vulnerability of Data Loss
As all official computers are connected to the business server, important data will be circulated across the server. Obviously, none of the business can afford such data loss.
Business stakes are reliant on the safe and secure parking of this data. Despite having backup schedules on individual desktops, it is always a safe strategy to backup server data. It will save the business from the loss of crucial data, even if data backup schedules are missed.
Although backup plans are bit costly. But in terms of data security, you can save a lot of bucks. There are several offsite backup plans which are not only cost-effective but can also save you from the trauma of permanent data loss.
These offsite backups provide Continuous Data Protection (CDP) where server data is stored on offsite servers. It is quite effective in case your original server gets crashed. Because you will still be able to retrieve your data from these offsite servers.
Data migration gets easier if your business server is backed up. For instance, if there is a need to move data from the old server to the new one but on the same location, the backup server will save both your time and money.
Preparing for the Worst
Despite technological advancement, the digital world is still unpredictable. This unpredictability gets increased in case of sensitive data transmission over the network. So, apart from the claims of the server to be fully secured, you should be prepared for the best. Because it is better to keep a backup plan rather than waiting for the worst to happen.
Server backup solutions are readily available over the internet. Mostly they are free but good ones like R1Soft’s comes up with some premium cost. Moreover, some of the hosting control panels have their in-built server backup facilities. These in-built backup solutions though are not much cultured, but they are good enough to back up your critical data.
From this, small businesses can have the idea that why business servers deserve to be backed up and how important is to have the server’s backup strategy. Now let’s get to know that what basically is a backup server and how can business servers be backed up?
It is a type of server which facilitates the backup of applications and important business data on a specialized in-house or remote server. It employs a combination of different software and hardware technologies to offer retrieval services to connected computer and device. In addition to this, it also offers backup storage to them.
Such servers are being commonly used in different organization’s IT infrastructure. In such environments, certain computers across an organization are connected to one or more backup servers through networking.
Working of a Backup Server
A typical backup server consists of a standard hardware server having enough storage capacity. Such storage needs are mostly met by redundant storage devices and certain purpose-built backup server applications.
The backup system follows a certain backup schedule. This backup schedule can be set up through the installation of the client utility application. This can also be done by configuring backup schedule with the host operating system.
Upon scheduling time, the host connects with the backup server to initiate the backup process. In the event of data loss, data corruption or disaster recovery, this backup can be summoned for retrieval.
In case of cloud or hosting servicing, a backup server is remotely connected on a web interface via the internet. This remote connection can also be established through the application programming interface (API) of the vendor.
Choice between Public and Private Backup Servers
Before proceeding to reap the benefits of backup servers, it is important to decide whether you need public backup servers or private backup servers. Generally, administrators consider data security to be the foremost factor in making such decisions. But, considering only this won’t equate to safety.
There is a myth that private backups are private and you will be in complete control. Moreover, it isn’t also wise to think that choosing a public backup plan would enable your data to be viewed or accessed publicly.
Either of these myths isn’t factual. Because both have their own pros and cons. It depends on the application that which one will be better.
Going for the public cloud backups will save you from the hassle of management fees and headache of security and scalability. Both network security and scalability are offered at a much cheaper cost than having an in-house or private backup server.
Private server setups can be a bit costly than private ones. But they can offer more features and customization. Moreover, you will need to have a dedicated IT staff to manage your servers. In addition to this, there will be an additional billing if your business undergoes expansion.
However, private servers are immensely popular amongst businesses which go after confidentiality and sophistication rather than simplicity.
Methods to Backup a Business Server
After being convinced with the fruitfulness of backup service for business servers, there is a need to get familiar with ways to do this. Following are four general ways by which you can back up your business server:
Backup for Linux servers
If you are using Linux servers then the redundancy is the most common way to backup your server. It is always recommended to backup your server on some separate storage server, over the internet. An example of such a server is an FTP server.
In addition to this, there is an important tool named RSync. It is an open-source file transfer and synchronization program. Using Rsync, one can easily copy data from their business servers to the external or remote server. By default, Rsync is installed in the Ubuntu.
There are some other tools to backup your Linux server. fwbackup and Bacula are some of very popular server backup tools. Conventionally you can also backup your Linux server by using Tar GZip. Here subjected volume is fed to Tar GZip, which will then be uploaded to the storage device of the remote server.
Backup for Windows Servers
Microsoft has an in-built backup tool for Windows known as Windows Server Backup. Using this, the user has the liberty to either backup whole server or just few volumes. But there is a backlog which restricts user to backup server on a locally attached disk.
This restriction also forces the user to manage backup on a remote shared folder. Condition is that this folder must be on the different server but on the same network. In Windows, you need additional tools such as FTP to send the backup to another remote location.
Apart from this, there are several other backup tools for servers. Some of them are free of cost. But some of them comes up with the premium and the user must buy them for commercial use.
Backup through Server Configuration
There are businesses which are using server configuration panels to administer multiple email accounts and websites. For them, it is quite crucial to run regular backups. For such businesses, there are several panels, such as cPanel, Plesk and DirectAdmin. These panels already have web-based functions for backup scheduling and server restoration. They also give user, leverage to either backup their servers to the same server or to some remote server.
Third-party Server Backups
In case you are not convinced to adopt either of above-mentioned backup solutions, you can get your servers backed up by employing third party server backup software. There are several third-party vendors which offer multiple corporate and personal backup plans.
These vendors use web-based accounts which will enable you to decide which directories on your server you want to backup. They allow the user to specify the type of backup and set their own customized backup schedules.
There is a need to note that the backup process is entirely dependent on the number of factors such as network traffic and uploading speed between your server and service provider’s server.
It is always recommended that before formal servicing, you should get a test account. These test account will enable you to see if this backup solution suits your server or not. Once satisfied you can employ desired one to backup your business server.
In addition to this, there are various vendors which offer cloud services for backups. Here, they combine the backup process with the innovative approach of cloud storage. Cloud backups offer quick, easy and more streamlined server backups than other server backup solutions.