Relatively offsite

I just heard about a business that was storing their offsite backup data in the basement of their building. I guess offsite is a relative term. The backup tapes were out of the data center which is on the fourth floor. This is definitely better than storing the tapes in the data center, but it falls short of storing the tapes in another building in a different location.

The degree of offsite that you need depends on several factors. In general, further away from the data center offers more protection. But, even that is not always true. Just imagine a data center in a valley near a river. If your offsite backup location is 50 miles away, but in the same valley near the same river, then the same flood may make your data and your backup in accessible. On the other hand if your backup location was just a mile away in a building on higher ground, you may have more protection from that type of disaster. It is best to think about the types of events that you want to protect against. An offsite backup across town in New Orleans is probably not very useful in a Katrina type event. You could have the same kind of problem in places that are susceptible to earthquakes, or blizzards.

Storing data in the same building is not likely to protect your data from a wide range of problems. However, it may be convenient if you need get your offsite data in a hurry. That brings up another interesting factor. If you are shipping your backup data across the country, how long will it take to get your backup data when you need it.

One great suggestion worth looking into is online backup over the internet. Your data can be stored a reasonable distance away to protect against most disasters, but can also be retrieved relatively quickly when needed.

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