Offsite Storage vs Onsite: Which is Best for Your Business?

Regardless of the type of business you're running, safeguarding the important data stored in your company's infrastructure is a top priority. Implementing a security system you can rely on backs up your data in the event of an emergency and prevents information loss which can have disastrous results. The loss of data on your desktops and servers can potentially paralyze a business. It is highly recommended that organizations have both a backup and disaster recovery plan ready to ensure business continuity is consistently maintained. The more you know about how each method operates, the better your security will be.

Offsite Advantages

As the data is being stored offsite, there are some disadvantages you should be aware of. Occasionally, the company chooses to perform preventive maintenance taking the data servers offline. During this "down-time", accessing the data stored offsite can be completely cut off or very limited. However, clients who prefer backing up their data with offsite storage are usually notified ahead of time when their site is up for repair or routine maintenance.

Onsite Advantages

Onsite storage consists of storing critical data periodically using local storage devices, such as CD's, hard drives, magnetic tapes, or DVD. This can be done directly or remotely through the internet. The advantages of using onsite storage include:

The main disadvantage of onsite storage is data vulnerability in the event of a catastrophe. Data stored onsite can be destroyed. Should there be a fire or flood damage, the onsite servers could lose all their stored data. Also, storage units onsite are susceptible to theft. This costs the company time, data, and money.


Types of Off-Site Data Backup

According to, there are two commonly used forms of off-site backup:

Cloud backup: A method of backing up data online. A duplicate copy of the data is transmitted over the network to an off-site server. It is usually hosted by a third-party cloud service provider or a private enterprise.

Tape backup: Copies data from a primary storage device to a tape cartridge so the data can be recovered if there is a hard disk crash or failure. According to analyst George Crump, "Tape security is mainly referred to in terms of the physical. To limit the chance of tapes being stolen, an organization should ship them as soon as they're done writing to them, and then ensure that the off-site storage location is secure. A service-level agreement (SLA) will state who has access to the tapes and how long the recovery time should take. Like with the cloud, encryption is important. Linear Tape-Open 8 (LTO-8), released in late 2017, features the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard as well as the write once, read many (WORM) capability.

What is the Best Way to Protect Company Data?

Choosing the best security to back up data often comes down to preference. Some companies opt to monitor and track their important data themselves choosing onsite protection. Other companies may choose offsite servers to maintain the data until they feel compelled to switch. The only way to be absolutely sure you have the most secure system with the least likelihood of losing all accrued data is to adopt an onsite-offsite solution. Implementing both backup systems and using them simultaneously can offset loss and aid recovery from one or the other. Protecting data with a secure backup system is an important consideration. It means businesses should encrypt their data because it moves across the public internet to a cloud provider's server. Users should always verify that the data has not suffered corruption or been changed in any way. 


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