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With plenty of viable options available, backing up remote offices and branch offices (ROBOs) shouldn’t be neglected any longer.

Data protection for remote offices and branch offices (ROBOs) has always been a challenge, and it can present some real risks to corporate data. Key factors that contribute to the generally mediocre state of

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data protection in many ROBOs are an absence of local IT staff, dependence on shared resources, an inadequate backup infrastructure and a false sense that remote-office data is somehow less relevant.

A reliance on difficult-to-manage and more error-prone tapes for ROBO backups contributed to these data protection woes, but the use of disk in place of tape in recent years has helped alleviate some of the problems. “According to surveys we conducted, tape-based backup has dropped by 50% in ROBOs between 2007 and 2010,” said Lauren Whitehouse, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), Milford, Mass. Besides disk-based backup, technological advances in data deduplication, networking and the emergence of the cloud are giving companies a slew of ROBO data protection options that simply weren’t available a few years ago.

This was first published in January 2012

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