Remote Backup FAQ

Q: What if we already have a tape backup system?

Using a tape backup system and a remote backup system offers the best of both worlds. Critical files, like billing, customer contact files, and databases can be kept on the remote backup system. At the same time, the tape system can be used to create a full backup of the entire system once or twice a month instead of on a daily basis.

The tapes and drive will last longer and require less maintenance. The remote backup system can provide a quick and easy way to retrieve critical files and databases without the hassle of searching through tapes.

Q: What if we already have a Zip drive?

Frankly, we believe that it is not ideal. Most users should not use a zip or other removable disk media for backup. A remote backup service is completely automated and has the required file redundancy to protect important data. The only safe way to use a zip drive for backup is to have three disks and make the same backup three times. That way, when one of the disks fails, you are still protected.

Q: How long will a remote backup take?

Offices with high-speed internet connections should find this service comparable with tape drives. Dial-up users will be able to do incremental backups in thirty to sixty minutes. The initial backup can take several nights to complete. We recommend backing up the most important files first and then selecting other files as the backup progresses. Another option is to run the initial backup over the weekend. Also, a representative of DataSet Technologies can come to your office and make the initial backup of your system.

Q: Onsite, Offsite – What’s The Difference?

Remote backups work like regular tape backups with one important difference: instead of sending backups to a tape drive or other media attached to the computer, a remote backup sends encrypted file data over the internet to a computer file storage system safely off-site.

This usually happens at night while your business is closed and nobody is using the computers. It’s completely automatic. Status reports are sent to you detailing the result of each backup.

Q: Why Are Remote Backups Considered More Beneficial?

The data is immediately stored off-site using an automated backup system. Also, only an internet connection is needed. The need for expensive backup equipment and media is completely eliminated. Also, since the system is automated, manual labor is eliminated.

Q: How Secure Are Remote Backups?

Very. All of your files are first compressed and encrypted with your defined encrypting key before they are sent to Dataset’s backup servers. To all people but you, your files stored on Dataset’s backup servers are no more than some garbage files with random content including Dataset’s own system engineers. Currently, the algorithm that we are using to encrypt your files is Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), with 256-bit block ciphers. It is adapted from a larger collection originally published as Rijndael. AES is the first publicly accessible and open cipher approved by the National Security Agency (NSA) of USA for top secret information. All files are encrypted which is selected by the user who has his own personal encryption code known only by the user of the system.

A 256-bit key size has 2256 or around 1.16 x 1077 possible combination. Even if you have the world best super computer, Tianhe-1A, with 14,336 Xeon X5670 (6 Core, 2.93GHz) processors developed by the Chinese National University of Defense Technology as of October 2010, it would take 1.46 x 1054 years to test all combinations. Assuming you have the super computer, Tianhe-1A which totals a capability of 2.507 petaflops (quadrillion of operations/second), available to you. Also it just needs one computer operation to test a possible combination (which is already faster than what it can do). To use brute force attack (checking all combinations) on this encryption algorithm, it would take:

1.16 x 1077
————– seconds ~ 4.621 x 1061sec
2.507 x 1015
i.e. 1.46 x 1054 years

Q: What is encryption?

Encryption is a mathematical formula that scrambles a data file. The only way to unscramble it is with the encryption code.

Q: Can I restrict access to data by IP addresses?

You can restrict access to your backup files from the set of IP addresses you define. If
someone tries to access your data from an IP address not on your defined list, their access will be denied. This additional security ensures backup files are not open to all locations, even when username and password is known.