No matter what the size of your business, if you store your business and/or customer data on a computer (and who doesn’t these days?) you need a safe, secure way to back up and store that data. But with so many data backup solutions to choose from, how does a small (or mid-sized) business owner choose the data backup and recovery option that’s right for them? Should you back up your customer and business data locally or use a cloud- or Internet-based backup service — or both?

If you are leaning toward backing up locally, do you back up to tape or disk — or to a virtual tape library (VTL) or removable disks — or some combination of the two (e.g., disk-to-disk-to-tape, or D2D2T)? And if you decide to back up your data to a cloud provider, how do you determine which one is right for your business?

To help answer these questions, and more (such as what to back up, when to back it up, and how to pick a backup solution), I spoke with two data backup and recovery experts, Patrick Corrigan, a senior analyst with Storage Strategies NOW, and Jennifer Walzer, the founder and CEO of Backup My Info. You can read what they had to say about How to Choose the Right Data Backup System, What to Back Up, and How Often You Should Back Up Data in my article for SmallBusinessComputing.com titled “A Guide to Data Backup and Recovery for SMBs.”

The bottom line:  “The chance that your computers [or servers] are going to fail is 100 percent guaranteed,” said Walzer. “It’s just a matter of when. And when that happens, the question is, are you going to be prepared?” And although it may seem expensive, backing up your business critical data to a secure device and/or service, and making sure that information is properly backed up and stored and recoverable on a regular basis, is much cheaper than having to start your business from scratch.

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