12.16.16 Business Solutions

Beyond Conventional Cloud Storage: IDrive’s Backup Solutions Provide Comprehensive Data Protection for Small Businesses

By: Jon McDonald

The Crunch: Small businesses can be especially vulnerable to digital data failures because they don’t have the luxury of vast IT teams to create redundancies for their networks. IDrive offers cloud, onsite, and hybrid data backup solutions that provide small businesses information security at a reasonable price point. With IDrive, a business has options for safeguarding data from servers, computers, tablets, and mobile devices by housing a backup system, uploading backups to the cloud, or employing a hybrid model which keeps backups in both. IDrive goes beyond backups with its creation of RemotePC, allowing access to a business computer from a browser on any machine.

Data backup wasn’t a major concern of mine back in 2008, but after spilling a glass of water on my Blackberry, my heart sank and dread set in. I took some advice I found on a website and put the phone in a cup of uncooked rice for three days to soak up all of the moisture inside. It was all for naught.

None of my contacts, photos, messages, or music survived the spill because they were not backed up anywhere. I felt like I had lost a part of myself and vowed never to let that happen again.

But my situation only involved one phone and a small amount of actual data. When a business suffers a disaster in which it loses thousands — or even millions — of dollars in equipment filled with information, the results can be far more dramatic. Widespread data loss can set some businesses back years, as all of their marketing materials, sales leads, financial statements, and research can vanish.

With IDrive, a business can get a comprehensive solution to securely back up all of its data, whether it be on-site, in the cloud, or with a hybrid solution.

IDrive Senior Business Development Manager Matthew Harvey spoke with us about the importance of backups.

Small retailers, in particular, produce a significant amount of valuable data. If email lists, sales receipts, payroll, inventories, and orders are stored on a hard drive with no backup, a business could be a hard drive failure away from shutting its doors. IDrive knows how hard small retailers work, and offers products that don’t use up any more of their valuable time but safeguard an incredibly valuable resource.

“Small businesses depend on customers and data — that is their livelihood,” IDrive Senior Business Development Manager Matthew Harvey told us. “So, you have to have the right tools in place to protect every aspect of your business.”

IDrive helps companies accomplish that by providing customized backup solutions that continually update to make recovery simple. With dedicated cloud options, on-site servers with cloud capabilities, and even physical data delivery, IDrive can safeguard small businesses from a crippling loss of information.

Multiple Recovery Options for Every Type of Business

Retailers face a deluge of decisions every day, from keeping inventory in stock to keeping employees paid and the company running. But, making sure that data is safe can be equally important, Matthew says.

“Retailers have vital data from point-of-sale systems, receipts, insurance files, and HR related documents,” Matthew said. “Having those backed up is critical. If a retailer lost that information, they could even lose their business.”

The solutions that IDrive has created can make data safekeeping a natural part of an otherwise challenging job. IDrive goes deeper than simple cloud storage of files; its solutions allow a business to pick up right where it left off. The only variable is what kind of backup works best for the retailer.

“In a store, a retailer has an inventory which means after you sell one, you bring another out,” Matthew told us. “IDrive is the same concept. If data is lost, you can go get a backup.”

IDrive lets a modern small business, with a mobile workforce, back up data from its computers, mobile devices, tablets, and servers. Having readily available recovery points for all company data can eliminate downtime and a lot of frustration. IDrive can also take the hassle out of uploading that data.

IDrive Express — A Physical Device for Recurring Backups of Cold Data

In the business world, cold data refers to important but infrequently used data, and even a small business can generate plenty of it. When it comes to backing up a large amount of cold data over a basic internet connection, time becomes a big issue. Transfers are slow, and, depending on how much information a business has accumulated, upload time can quickly turn into days or weeks.

IDrive Express combats that time loss by sending a physical hard drive to collect the information, then uploaded it to the cloud when it is returned.

“We ship the retailer a hard drive, they load their data on it, then ship it back to us, and we upload it to our cloud within a week,” Matthew said. “A lot of businesses like that because, once that large backup is in the cloud, everything else is just incremental.”

IDrive Express allows a business to bypass bandwidth and physically upload its data to the cloud via a hard drive.

Filling a physical hard drive with backup data is far quicker than uploading it to the cloud, and it can save a retailer valuable bandwidth that could slow down other parts of their workflow. Businesses with an IDrive cloud storage plan receive Express three times a year for free.

Once the hard drive is sent back to IDrive and uploaded, a retailer can quickly restore all of the data from the cloud. Express also works in reverse, as a business can also choose to have its data shipped back on a hard drive so a restore can be done locally.

Express can be a great option for retailers with the mountain of data that piles up. Once they get all of the information onto the cloud, the IDrive Vault line can keep all of that data updated automatically, without any time commitment or effort.

IDrive Vault — An Onsite Server Stores Data Locally for Scheduled Backups

Vault is a line of products that allow a business an onsite backup option for easier access and faster uploads. For some businesses, having a data backup on-premise is important, and IDrive offers options that are both dedicated and hybrid.

IDrive Vault products include Private Cloud (1), Image Backup with Bare-Metal Restore (2), and Snapshots (3).

IDrive gives retailers a wide range of backup options and offers a cost-effective alternative to simple cloud storage, which can be limited to specific files and is not a comprehensive picture of every device used by the business.

  1. Vault (Private Cloud) gives a business the equivalent of having an IDrive cloud at its own secure site. The Private Cloud has the same familiar IDrive dashboard, but all of the data is hosted locally, allowing for fast access. Its cloud capabilities allow remote backups of devices, as well as remote access to backups. Businesses that want the flexibility of the cloud, but the dependability of an on-premise server are the key demographic for this service.
  2. Vault (Image Backup with Bare-Metal Restore) copies the contents of an entire hard drive into one file, also known as an image. A business can connect all of its devices to this local server, and take images at customizable points in time. Bare-metal restore uses those images to recover hard drive data to the same device, or a new device altogether, in the case of a mishap. The entire system is controlled from a web console, so management of backups can be done from anywhere. With image backup, a business can quickly recover all of its data, system configurations, and even user settings quickly and easily.
  3. Vault (Snapshots) is one of IDrive’s most popular products because it combines the benefits of an onsite server backup with the peace of mind provided by a cloud backup off site. The hybrid Snapshots service automatically backs up data to a physical device at the retail location, then can transfer a copy of that data to the cloud in case of a disaster. This gives a business two levels of protection and makes backing up and restoring faster because of the device’s proximity.

Providing small businesses with options is important to IDrive, but so is accessibility. IDrive’s cloud, Vault, and Express capabilities quickly find and implement restore points or recover massive amounts of lost data. But the company has gone even further in its quest for accessibility with RemotePC.

Securely Access a Workstation from Anywhere with RemotePC

While it may seem that small business owners are never far from a home or personal computer filled with files related to their operation, that is not always the case. RemotePC gives a retailer the ability to remotely access any workstation, whether it be their personal computer at home or any computer in the office.

With RemotePC, a retailer can stay in control of his or her personal or business computer from anywhere.

“Whether a small business owner goes off to a trade show or on vacation, they can access their computer remotely,” Matthew said. “Important business files on a certain workstation can be accessed from anywhere.”

The RemotePC Web Viewer feature gives a user access to his or her computer from a web browser on any computer without needing to have software installed. The connection is always encrypted, and an administrator can even provide a one-time access key for temporary use by an associate. RemotePC is just another way IDrive shows its commitment to providing customers with connection and fast restoration.

IDrive Helps Ensure Businesses Are Prepared For Anything

I learned a valuable lesson when I lost all of the information on my Blackberry: always back up my data. Now I have multiple copies of my phone’s data, which gives me peace of mind. But the lesson I learned pales in comparison to what a small business would have to go through following a data failure. It wouldn’t just be photos, music, and texts in jeopardy, a small business could lose customer data, financial documents, and a host of other important information that make day-to-day operations run smoothly.

The backup options offered by IDrive help keep a business from ever finding out what would happen if a disaster wiped out all of its data. Disasters are, by nature, unexpected, but businesses can be prepared.

“It is anticipating a problem ahead of time,” Matthew said. “Hard drives can fail, people can drop or lose mobile devices, and all of that data is gone.”

With IDrive, the information that a small business relies on can be safer than the piece of technology it is stored on. It also provides a retailer with the comfort of knowing that business can continue even if the unexpected happens.

About The Author

Jon McDonald is a contributing editor for DealCrunch with over 15 years of experience editing, writing, and designing at numerous publications. His passions include digging into emerging trends and seeking out the companies making an impact on the retail industry.

Back to IndustryCrunch