The Internet and the World Wide Web have spawned an era not just of new technology, but of new ways of living and working. Even in the remotest parts of many countries, you'll find computers of all kinds running word processors, productivity software, telecommunications software, business products and all connected in some way to the Internet (even if some connections are tenuous and infrequent). New ideas are popping up all over the place as people around the world continue to explore all the possibilities within the digital realm, the Internet at large and throughout the World Wide Web. New businesses based on those ideas, some more useful than others, are popping up all over the place too. So how about a business which develops and supports software designed to help you start up and operate your own new business—in this case, the business of helping people perform automated backups of all their important data and documents to remotely located storage sites. Sound interesting to you? It sounds great to us.
Nobody writes letters anymore. Nobody laboriously writes entries into a general ledger anymore. Nobody writes business correspondence. It's all done on computers, using software designed for the various tasks at hand. Of course we generate lots of printed documents too. Paper isn't going away for a long time. But with each passing month around the world, more and more documents are being produced on paper from digital originals, and more and more digital documents are being produced for consumption through digital media: presentations, email attachments viewed on a monitor, digital music, digital photos, digital video, personal data, and on and on. The list is almost endless. As we produce all of this information, it occurs to us that, unlike the printed documents filed away in large steel cabinets, the only records we have of some digital files are the original files themselves sitting on the hard drives in the computers in front of us. So when was the last time you did a backup?
Remote Backup Systems has developed the RBackup Remote Backup Software platform as a means by which almost any technically savvy entrepreneur can set up a remote data backup service business. Install the RBackup database and secure access program on a suitable host of your own or at an ISP or data center, then start selling customized versions of the client software so that people can begin using your product and service. The RBackup package is very complete and includes Apache Server and MySQL, along with detailed documentation, configuration utilities, the client software itself, and integrated customization tools so that you can properly brand everything sold to customers. Make the best deal you can with an ISP or data center and, presto, you've got a real business. According to Gartner Research, Forrester Research and a dozen other similarly well-respected information sources, lost, accidentally deleted, deliberately deleted and unsaved digital files cost tens of billions of dollars to replace every year. It's a bit of a mess out there. It's a good time to be considering a business of this kind.
The old backup methods—tape drives, CD, DVD—have outlived their usefulness in our view. I've been using the Carbonite remote backup service for a year (as of February 2008) and haven't looked back. In any case, tape backups are notoriously unreliable, data and file restoration can take (literally) days, and I can't actually tell you how many tape backups have failed over the years because I've lost count. CDs don't have sufficient capacity and DVDs are nearing the end of their usefulness for backups too as the need for larger capacity solutions continues to grow. CD and DVD backups usually require excessive amounts of manual intervention. So what's left? The obvious answer is multiple hard drives. Better yet, multiple hard drives located somewhere other than at your home or business. Basically, storing your home backups at home, or storing business backups at your office is like having no backups at all. Swapping removable hard drives out of a backup drive bay and storing or circulating a couple of generations of them in and out of a safety deposit box works well, but it's a lot of extra work. Better than that though, now that Internet connection speeds are reliably fast in so many places, why not install a little client utility on your PC, workstation or server, point it at all the folders or directories of data in each location, then tell it to back up everything to a remote data storage center? I can't think of any reason why that's not the very best backup method yet. Call this last bit the best sort of sales pitch you can give potential customers if you start a data backup business of your own.