MCN's New Cloud Backup Service

Remember backing up the server at the end of each day onto a disk (which soon grew to multiple units), taking it home in case the worst happened, bringing it back the next day, and doing it all over again, and again? Those were the old days! Now, we have The Cloud. In our endless thirst for new technology, we have all embraced this concept for backing up our work. But, how much is it costing us, where is it and why does that matter?

Managed Computer Networks has developed a new Offsite Backup Service that offers you the best of both worlds: affordability, encryption for maximum security, and control over the total backup spectrum (seeing both where the backup is generated and how it arrives at the other end). This control is enabled because the backup is at our local data warehouse here in Blenheim.

Why is being able to see this backup spectrum important? “In the past, we were only able to see one end, which was where the backups were being generated; we couldn’t actually see where it was going to (in the cloud) and in what state it was arriving,” says Azher Mir, MCN’s Managing Director. Through providing a local cloud, we can reassure our clients that their encrypted information is being looked after beginning, middle and end, that the information has arrived to their data centre correctly, and that it has reconstructed the information in its entirety. If something were to happen at your premises, MCN can go to your data centre, pull the information off onto a hard drive and recreate a server solution that will essentially be up to 15 minutes prior to the damage occurring. Backups can be done at any required interval up to 15 minutes.

So if it’s good that the cloud is ‘local’, where is it otherwise and why is that not ideal? “The perception is that the cloud is a secure location somewhere and that because we don’t know where it is, then nobody should know where it is. That is completely the wrong way around,” explains Azher. “We’ve all taken this ‘cloud’ concept on board with zeal but few people really grasp the fact that their information is not ‘up there’, somewhere in the ether; it’s in a piece of hardware sitting somewhere in the world – maybe Sydney, Singapore, Germany or the US – with traffic going from one place to another via any number of different computers. And any one of those computers could actually be monitoring what’s going through it.”

To address this security issue, MCN encrypt the information at both ends of the highway, requiring a password to deconstruct and reconstruct the information held within a file. “In this way, even though the information may travel across all sorts of different places, we know that nobody else can get into it; it’s your personal cloud and we know where it is,” says Azher.

Another advantage of using our local backup system is the ease of meeting IRD record keeping obligations, which can be tricky when financial information is stored outside New Zealand.

How much does this new, local, secure backup system cost compared to the cloud services that are currently available? “We find many of our clients exceed the allocated data limit when they use existing cloud backup services and are then charged high fees for extra data, making it hard for them to budget for these costs. We wanted to change that because we know that data usage is increasing and will continue to do so. We just charge one fee - $95.00 plus GST per server per month - and however much data is consumed is irrelevant,” says Azher. Knowing how much it’s going to cost for your backup and offsite backups is peace of mind. And if there is an issue it doesn’t cost more because it’s all part of that fee.

The time taken to fix issues is also impressively truncated from the 3-6 days it typically took to receive a ‘seed backup’ from a data centre located in Auckland or Sydney, to a mere day because the data centre is local. This means there is less opportunity for something to go wrong (through backups not occurring).

MCN's focus has always been to provide exceptional customer service and establish trusting relationships through guaranteeing that we will do what we say we will do. With our Offsite Backup Service, MCN have added another benefit for you by easing concerns about security, data limits and blowing the budget.

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