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Online Backup Services

We're Not in Kansas Anymore

The idea of trusting important corporate data to an online backup provider can be unsettling--secure data backups have typically resided on local tapes that stayed under your physical control. And many IT pros still harbor bad memories of the collapse of a number of free online storage providers during the Great Dot-Com Implosion of 2000.

The good news is that online backup services have evolved over the past few years, and customer concerns about security and reliability are not lost on the current generation of online backup providers. Every vendor we evaluated listed data security and 24/7 availability as primary responsibilities. In addition, all the services in our review store customer data in mirrored, Class A data centers that are either privately owned or co-hosted in some of the most secure facilities in the world.

Show Me the Money

We believe these services will be especially attractive to those tasked with protecting data at remote sites. First, running tape backups for a multitude of servers is an expensive proposition. Costs for hardware, backup software and tapes will vary depending on data-set size and the amount of automation required. But to give you a rough idea, a 100-GB single-drive DLT or DAT system can exceed $3,500 per installation--not including annual support, maintenance and off-site tape storage costs, or inevitable equipment upgrades.