Difference Between Onsite and Offsite Data Backup

Every business understands the importance of backing up important company data. No matter how efficient a computer system appears to be, there is always the possibility of a malfunction wiping out valuable data. For this reason, many companies have set up backup systems, designed to recover lost data. There are both onsite and offsite backup options, and both have certain advantages and disadvantages.

Onsite storage usually entails storing important data on a periodic basis on local storage devices, such as hard drives, DVDs, magnetic tapes, or CDs. Offsite storage requires storing important data on a remote server, usually via the Internet, although it can also be done via direct access.

Onsite storage has some advantages over offsite storage, including:

  • immediate access to data
  • less expensive
  • Internet access not needed

However, onsite storage has one distinct disadvantage over offsite storage. In the event of a catastrophic event, onsite data storage can be destroyed. For example, if there is a fire in the building, or a water main bursts, the onsite servers can lose all the data that has been collected on them. In addition, onsite storage units can also be stolen, resulting in a loss of time, money, and data.

Offsite storage has some advantages over onsite storage, including:

  • access to data from any location, via Internet or FTP
  • data will be preserved in the event of an event taking place within the business
  • backup data can be shared with a number of different remote locations

Then again, just as onsite data backup has some disadvantages, the same holds true for offsite storage. For one thing, since the data is stored offsite, it can be tricky to access the data when it is needed. For example, some of the offsite data servers will be routinely taken offline in order to perform preventive maintenance. During that time period, access to the offsite data will either be severely limited or completely cut off. In most cases, clients who use offsite storage are given plenty of notice when a site is going down for maintenance or repair.

When it comes to making a choice between onsite and offsite backup options, it is usually a matter of preference. Some individuals prefer being able to monitor and keep track of their valuable data, and will often use onsite protection. Others, however, will choose to allow offsite servers to maintain the data, until such time as it is needed.

Then again, if an individual wishes to have the most secure system with the lowest likelihood of having all data lost, it is possible to adopt an onsite-offsite solution. By having both onsite and offsite backup used in conjunction with each other, a problem in one side of the equation can be offset by recovery from the other side.