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Selecting a data-vaulting vendor
A number of companies are offering remote vaulting -- Backing up data to a remote site that the vaulting company runs.
In choosing a data-vaulting vendor, the most important considerations are trust, references and the ability to try out the service before committing, according to Ray Ganong, chief technical officer and vice-president of operations for Evault (www.i365.com) a vendor of electronic vaulting services.
Trust is critical because, like other forms of third-party backup, electronic vaulting means turning your off-site backups, and hence your ability to perform disaster recovery over to a third party. Building trust starts with a carefully crafted service agreement that spells out the duties of both parties, the timetables for restorations, and other important factors.
One way to develop that trust is by asking for and checking references. When asking for references look for customers whose storage and backup needs are similar to yours, preferably ones who have had to do an emergency restore.
The third major component, Ganog says, is testing the service before installing it. That means doing full restores and recoveries of the test data from the vendor's site back to yours as well as checking the speed of backup against the available backup window.
Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.