By Marc M. Batschkus

Small businesses—or SMBs—need to keep their business running. For most of them, customer contacts, stock keeping, and orders are their core data. This is why SMBs especially need a data protection strategy.

If this sounds too high level, let’s call it: how to keep all data that’s required for a business.

There are many dangers for data, and this number is increasing. Still most dangerous are user’s mishaps of deleting, renaming, or misplacing files. External risks are growing, such as malware and viruses, attacks, and security gaps in software. All those need to be addressed and covered by securing data.

What is Data Management Software?

To protect data, keep it redundant, and protect it for long-term, data management software is needed. There are a few main categories for data protection:

  • Replication: to clone data from primary to secondary storage. This is also called fail-over or data availability because there is no restore necessary.
  • Backup: to keep a copy of all relevant files on separate storage that could be disk, tape or cloud storage, onsite and offsite. 
  • Archive: migrate data and protect data for the long-term, add metadata, and make it searchable. 

Data management software does part or all of this. In the case of the Archiware P5 suite, all services can be combined in one solution.

Benefits of Data Management Software for Small Businesses

What would a complete data loss mean for a business? The answer to this gives an impression of what level of security is needed and what budget should be allocated to protect the data.

There always seem to be things that are more attractive to spend money on than data protection. Ask yourself: Do these things keep the company alive if all data gets lost? Since the core of most businesses today is data, this data is worthy of professional protection.

Benefit #1: Automation

Any manual process that tries to protect data will fail or be skipped sooner or later. Automation is one important benefit of data management software. Automated Backup and/or replication runs take care of valuable data independent of current business situations and time pressure. They are a big benefit of data management software. One or more schedules trigger the Backup tasks that can run by themselves overnight or over the weekend.

Benefit #2: Multiple Copies of Important Files

Data management software, like Archiware’s P5 suite, creates multiple copies of important files. Depending on the configuration, they can reside on different media.

Benefit #3: Multiple Services for Data Protection

Depending on how time-critical data is, multiple options exist to protect it. Cloning/replication is preferable for the most time-critical data. For less time-critical data, a backup to disk tape or cloud is the best solution. All finalised files, as well as files and projects of previous years, can migrate to a long-term Archive. Archiware P5 offers all those options and can combine them if needed.

Benefit #4: Multiple Storage Options 

Storage comes in many forms and products. Each one has its benefits and weaknesses. Data management software, such as Archiware P5, can make use of all of them.

Depending on the requirements, setup and budget, disk, tape, and Cloud storage can be used to protect data. Disk is easily available and relatively cheap. Archiware P5 also runs on popular NAS systems, such as QNAP, Synology, and NetGear. 

Benefit #5: Data Center-like Security on the Desktop with LTO Tape

LTO tape is used by large corporations, banks, internet, and insurance companies to keep data safe. By using single desktop drives, LTO is now available and affordable for SMBs as well. Single desktop drives with SAS or Thunderbolt connection make this a reality. With this comes multiple benefits.

Air gap is the most powerful technology to protect data. It means having a physical air gap between the network and the storage that the data resides on. This is the case with Backup and Archive using tape. The tape that is not in the drive can not be accessed and is therefore not affected by any malware or attack.

To reach maximum security, it makes sense to remove the tapes from the office and store them offsite. This way, data is protected from local impacts. Archiware P5 Backup, as well as Archiware P5 Archive, have a built-in driver for tape.

Another benefit is that tape is the most affordable storage to scale and expand. Buying tapes creates more capacity easily. With a price point starting at about 10USD/EUR per TB, tape is the cheapest professional storage medium. The shelf life of 30 years adds to the benefits of tape.

Archiware’s Desktop LTO Edition is the most affordable license to include P5 Backup and P5 Archive for a single LTO drive.

Archiware LTO Desktop Edition.

Benefit #6: Protects Virtualised Servers

So far, physical hardware was discussed. Many SMBs now also use virtualisation, like VMware. These virtualised servers need specific protection. VMware setups are very helpful for many purposes. Having multiple servers running on just one hardware saves cost and effort. But the VMware machine now becomes a single point of failure for all services hosted by it. This is the reason it needs a powerful and specific Backup. Archiware Pure specifically backs up VMware servers. 

Benefit #7: Operation Overview and Reporting

Since the automatic Backup might run at odd times or overnight, it is important to have insight into its operations. Reporting and overview of scheduled and running jobs offer the necessary transparency. They should be checked regularly to ensure all works as expected.

Archiware P5 and Pure offer an overview page for each module listing scheduled jobs and last runs and their status. E-Mail notifications are available for reporting to the person in charge.

Check out the benefits of having all data protected by specific services with Archiware P5.

Archiware P5 interface with restore catalogue.

Why is Data Management Software for Small Business Important?
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