Secure Online Backup with unparalleled support

When was the last time you called any company’s Technical Support line and were not extremely nervous that:

• You’d have to wade through a dozen or more voice menu options
• You’d have to listen to advertisements or music on hold for 10 or 20 minutes
• You’d finally get connected to a script-reading monkey who didn’t know a bit from a byte

Sound familiar?

It is aggravating. Modern technology is supposed to make life easier, not more complex. No machine works perfectly forever so problems or questions will always pop up at some point, and that is precisely the moment you don’t need any further frustration.

Being in the on-line backup business, we are particularly sensitive to the fact that often when people call, they are in a serious bind because they have accidently erased a file, or their disc has crashed, or some other calamity has destroyed important data. They don’t need additional hassle.

Although we make it easy to restore data through our software, we also know that even technically proficient people sometimes encounter situations they do not understand, and need someone with experience to guide them through it.

Therefore at Enveloc, the phone is always answered by a human being and that one of our US based trained technicians are available, on average, within 30 seconds. This has been our practice for the past 16 years.

So when we say to call if you need assistance, we mean we are truly standing by to provide it.

Competent, helpful support should be ready when you are- in minutes, not days.

Competent, helpful support should be ready when you are- in minutes, not days.

We’ve all heard the old saw, “Hindsight is 20-20.” The problem is, correcting a deficiency AFTER the fact is generally helpful for the future, but of little immediate value when you have suffered a data loss. To successfully provide for any eventuality, planning is important – but the correct implementation is paramount.

In almost 30 years of working with computers I have seen more than my share of computers suffer hardware failures and cost their users valuable and critical data. In many cases, there was some sort of backup, but not all of them were actually usable for various reasons. Tapes can stretch, break or simply fail to be read. Thumb drives can be lost or damaged easily and hard drives can fail or develop file system errors that render them unreadable. Cloud-based backups put your data in some ethereal storage location and may make your data susceptible to hackers and other miscreants.Enveloc Remote Backup: No hindsight necessary.

Security is a rapidly-rising concern on the minds of the computing public as well. Many of us in the IT field are very happy to finally see this happening as the average user has historically been dangerously blasé about making sure their data is protected. If your backups are even encrypted in the first place, where is the key? Was it a key you made up and entered during installation or is it one that was generated for you? Who has access to that key and what measures are in place to prevent misuse?

Some people may think that effective remote backup services are expensive or difficult to manage. They are concerned that extra expenses and labor needs will make the solution not quite so cost-effective. Well, if you have a crystal ball, you can always just look ahead to the day your hard drive fails and then implement a plan a day or two beforehand. That will certainly save you money, time and effort. Unfortunately, that only works in fairy tales.

One more thing you should consider is the company behind the backup. Do the people who work there care about you, your data and whether or not you back up? Are they responsive and knowledgeable when you call them for support or just to ask a question or do they sound like they are reading from a script? Are they US-based or are they just part of a huge offshore call center handling thousands of companies’ customers? Most importantly, do they notify you if you do not back up on schedule? If the answer to all these questions is not a resounding “YES,” you are putting your faith in the wrong backup company.

The good news is the solution is fast, easy and affordable. Automatic offsite backup by the right company, using industry-proven methods and actively managing the backups can ensure that, regardless of what happens to your computer, your vital data is always protected.

A lot of people are especially concerned with backing up e-mail, often in the Outlook format. Here at Enveloc, we cover this important data set in several ways. Microsoft Corporation’s Outlook provides Contact, Task, Note, and Calendar utilities. All of this information is typically stored in one large file with the extension “.pst”. The size of the pst file depends on how many e-mails, contacts and calendar items you keep. With a little housekeeping each year, it’s easy to keep everything you need and also keep the pst files to a reasonable size of, say, a few gigabytes.Enveloc's Outlook Agent - Brick level backup and restore.

But before we talk about the housekeeping, how can you effectively backup a five gigabyte file that changes significantly every day? Because of the way Microsoft organizes the pst files, they change significantly whenever they are in use, too much for traditional block level analysis. At Enveloc we developed a method to backup each Outlook item- e-mail, calendar date, contact – as an individual file. We keep a table of metadata so that when you need to restore an item (or all the items in a folder, or all the folders in the pst), you can search by addressee, date, subject, etc. All these small files and metadata are encrypted, just like regular files, and transmitted as part of the backup set.

Why is this an advantage? It means that even though you might have thousands of emails and contacts, each time you backup, only the new or changed ones are saved. In practical terms, a 6 gigabyte Outlook data set can be backed up in 10 minutes each day. It also means that restoring lost items does not mean replacing the entire pst file, just adding back in the items that are missing.

Additionally, the user may back up the Email Accounts files as part of our regular file backup, and we offer on-site disc imaging to quickly backup the entire pst file as part of the disc image. With these backups you can restore the entire Outlook data set in case of a major crash.

Now about housekeeping. One method is to keep all important e-mails in your Inbox, not marking them as “read” until acted upon. Then, right after the end of each year, you can create an entirely new Outlook store (pst file) and name it, for example, “Archive_2012”. You can do this by clicking File/Data File Management/New and following the prompts. Inside Archive_2012 make an Inbox, Sent, and any other folder you need. Then arrange your emails in date order, and copy the previous year’s e-mails to the Archive pst. Then delete them from the current folders. Backup the Archive once and you’re done backing it up. This entire process takes a few minutes of work, though you may want to plan it just before lunch to allow time for the copy to complete.

If you’re not already using it, try Enveloc Remote Backup on your Outlook files and see how quickly and securely we can keep your e-mail, contacts, and calendar items.

A lot of people wonder whether an internet-based backup system is just a gimmick, invented by geeks who thought it would be cool to backup across the internet. Geeks may have thought it up, but there are valid business reasons to backup to a geographically distant location on hard drives instead of tapes.

Daily Rotating Backup Tapes

In the early days of computing, way back about 15 years ago and earlier, virtually all backup was tape-based. There would be a stack of 10 tapes, labeled Monday1 – Friday1 and Monday2 – Friday2. Someone had the job to replace the tape in the tape drive and take the just-completed tape home, bringing from home the next tape to be overwritten. Larger companies would have a storage service perform this function, with the added benefit of storage in a secure, controlled environment. Other companies would store tapes in their bank’s safe deposit box. Still other companies would not bother to take their tapes offsite but keep them in a safe in the office. Or just leave them sitting in the closet with the server.

So if there were a fire at the business, and the tapes were there, everything would be lost. Even if the tapes were in an ordinary firesafe, there was a good chance they’d be damaged because ordinary firesafes are designed to protect paper, not media.

But the offsite tapes presented another problem- the accessibility of securely stored tapes. Nights or weekends were problematical. As experienced in Katrina on the Gulf Coast, a lot of companies lost not only their production servers but their backup tapes down the street at the bank or storage facility.

So when bandwidth became affordable and available and was sufficient to transmit changed data, the internet became the best solution for getting the backup offsite. And storage on hard drives is more reliable and less expensive than tape storage, and far easier to manage.

There are companies that risk keeping their backups on removable hard drives in their offices or at a local storage facility. A tornado, or hurricane, fire, or flood can easily ruin both original data and backup copies. Why take a chance? Enveloc is secure, offers several levels of offsite storage, and is accessible twenty-four hours a day. Try our no-risk solution today!