Automatic Offsite Backups for your Company

Automatic Offsite Backups for your Company

Keeping your Computer Data Safe

Computer Data Failure

Backups for Canadian organizations have special requirements that preclude many American solutions. When there is a need to restore a backup, data must be available quickly and preferably locally.  When its not needed, your data must be securely protected. Canadian privacy laws are tough and protect Canadian citizens and Canadian organizations. Unfortunately most backup solutions store your data in a foreign country, namely the USA. The American Patriot Act allows a foreign government access to all your data without due cause or without even need to inform of access. The data may be encrypted but all encryption can be broken with time. Ensure your data is encrypted, secure, and protected by Canadian laws. Backup in Canada.

If you are a Lawyer, Real estate agent, or medical professional, your professional organization requires that your data is stored in Canada. All professionals should check with their professional organization to ensure they are compliant.


Is your Data Safe?

We visit a lot of sites and when we do, we ask about backups.  Most people do backups. Unfortunately when they’re needed, many find out the back ups they have are not backups at all.


  • 19 days and $17,000 to recreate just 20 MB of lost sales/marketing data;
  • 21 days and $19,000 to recreate just 20 MB of lost accounting data;
  • 42 days and $98,000 to recreate just 20 MB of lost engineering data.

Backups are not just about hard disk failures.  In fact most of the recoveries we do are because of an accidental overwrite or delete.  We’ve all done it when we’re working on a big file and doing it just a little to fast. All of a sudden we’ve saved over a document or maybe its accounting data and we shouldn’t have.  What do you do now?  If a recent backup, its as simple as a recovery from that last version.

Key Causes for Unplanned Downtime

Types of Data That We Use.

Not all data is created equal.  Today 1 terabyte drives are common on a computer.  Thats 1000 Gigabyte.  So whats in there?  To give a point a reference, a pdf with less than 10 pages and has some graphics can be between 0.5 Megabytes and 5 Megabytes.  You can store 200, 5 MB files in 1 Gigabyte.  What’s the other 999?

In todays computer a bulk of your hard drive is taken up by application files for things like Windows and Microsoft Word as well as temporary files that applications create to make things run faster.  Multimedia files like music, pictures and video take up a significant amount of space.  These files are important but how important really?

What Will Happen if You Loose it?

When we talk to customers about backups, we start by identifying critical data.  This is data that if lost would have a serious impact on the day to day operation of your business.  Critical data often includes things like Accounting and payroll data, critical spreadsheets, POS data, core business databases and client files.  For you, there may be other files that are critical.

Why is classifying data important?  Money.  Proper backup is expensive.  A full over-the-wire offsite backup of 1 terabyte of data for a month can easily cost $2500.  If there are historical versions of that terabyte, that number can grow much larger.

What Not to Backup

As data ages, it becomes less important.  We’ve all seen files of past employees on the server.  The dates tell us they haven’t been touched in years and often know one knows what they are.   These files are less important than your accounting and critical data.

Alignment of Data and Backup.

Files that can be easily retrieved from other sources are good candidates for exclusion.  These include files downloaded from the internet and music or video files.  If you retain paper copies of documents and have scanned digital versions for convenience, you may decide to exclude these from the more expensive offsite backups.

A good backup strategy consists of a combination of redundant hard drives your server,  automatic onsite backups with a NAS or secondary server and automatic offsite backups using a cloud based provider..  The lowest cost solution is redundant drives in your server which gives protection against a disk failure.  Automatic offsite backups provide historical and versioned backups that protect against a greater range of risks but cost significantly more.   We recommend a solution that includes all three of these strategies to balance the cost of protecting your data.

If you’d like to learn more, we be happy to chat on the phone about improving your backup strategy or just backups in general.

Dar Zuch
Phone System Specialist
Helia Technologies

(403) 698-0700

Further Reading: