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Are online data backup service providers ready for the enterprise?

Pierre Dorion details what you need to consider when evaluating online backup service providers.

There are a lot of new online backup services. Are these just for consumers or are they serious backup applications for businesses?
There are a growing number of backup service providers and some offer services beyond the home-office or home-user level. For example, Iron Mountain, which was traditionally better known as a backup and archive vaulting specialist catering to large businesses is now marketing an online backup service called LiveVault. This service is designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and promotes tape-free online backups. Iron Mountain isn't the only player in this arena and there are other emerging service providers. Among other online backup services are EMC's MozyEnterprise, Seagate's EVault, Arsenal Digital Solutions' ViaRemote, Symantec Protection Network Online Backup and AmeriVault.

Things to watch out for with these services are:

  • Bandwidth between your site and the service provider. This can significantly add to your basic cost if you don't have sufficient bandwidth.
  • Service-level agreements should always be reviewed thoroughly. You need to understand how secure your data is once it's under the care of your backup service provider and how fast you can get it back when needed.

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