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    Overview     Why Use Remote Backup     How The Service Works

 

Pricing     Frequently Asked Questions

 

Overview

Southern Computer, Inc. is proud to announce the addition of remote backup services.

Your data is NOT safe.  Every day new virus attacks are launched on the unsuspecting public.  With the advent of broadband internet access via cable and DSL your computer is now vulnerable to intruders 24/7.  Every second your hard drive is closer to failing... it isn't a matter of "if", it is a matter of "when" it will fail.  Thousands of businesses lose millions of dollars worth of data to fire, power outages, theft, equipment failure, and even simple operator mistakes.

These potential disasters are not limited to companies.  The same issues affect PC's in your home.

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Why use a remote backup

Simply put, your data is one of the most valuable assets in your company or home.  With Southern Computer Remote Backup securing your data you will have the peace of mind from knowing that when disaster strikes your data will be safe.

  1. Backups are done on schedule every night. Most businesses donít do this. For one reason or another they donít keep a regular backup regimen. Usually itís because the person responsible for doing backups, if there is one, is too busy doing something else, someone is using the computer when itís time for a backup or they simply forget. Since remote backups are done with automated software at night when no one is using the computer backups are always done on schedule.
     

  2. All the correct files are backed up. Ordinary backup software is installed with a list of files to be backed up. This set of files usually represents the state of the system when the software was installed and often misses critical files. Further, it fails to backup files that are added later. Compounding this problem, very few businesses take the time to reset their backup software regularly to include those new files. Remote backup solves problems with a sophisticated system that constantly reevaluates your system adding files to the backup as needed.
     

  3. Redundant copies of files are stored using a sophisticated version control system unavailable in any other backup software of any kind. This is much too important to overlook. The general definition of proper backups requires redundancy, that is one must keep multiple copies of the same files at different points in their development, called versions. As an example, you should have a different copy of each backed up file for each day of the week, one for each week of the month, and one for each month of the year. Further, you should be able to easily restore any of your files up to any given point in time. Banks do it. Big corporations do it and so should small businesses.  
     

  4. Backups are encrypted for complete security. Would you want someone to be able to slip one of your backup tapes into a pocket and take it from your premises? It happens all the time. Tape back ups are not generally encrypted so anyone can read them and gain access to your client database, billing records, payroll, tax information and everything else on your computer. Our remote backup system encrypts all data for compete security. Nobody, not even, our employees can read your data, only you.  
     

  5. Finally and most importantly, backups are immediately sent off site and stored safely away from the computer, and the business. This is where almost every business makes its biggest mistake. Even if you do everything else perfectly, your backups are of little use if your building burns or if you're unable to physically recover your tapes from the premises. Most small companies that do backups leave the tapes in the building where they can be destroyed right along with the computer.

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How the service works

Southern Computer Remote Backup runs on all 32-bit Windows operating systems including Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME and XP. It runs in the background, and will not interfere with other programs you run. Through the simple and intuitive user interface, you can control which of your files are backed up, and on what schedule.
 

Southern Computer Remote Backup operates by defining Backup Sets, which are sets of files and a schedule for backing up those files. You can add new Backup Sets, Delete, Copy, and Save them. Backup Sets are automatically executed by Remote Backup according to their schedules.

 

The remote backup works basically like regular data backup software, with one important difference. Instead of sending backups to a tape drive or other media attached to the computer it is backing up, Remote Backup sends the backup over the Internet, regular telephone lines or network connections to another computer safely offsite. It does this (usually) at night while your computers aren't being used.


Itís completely automatic. In fact, you may even forget itís working. Most businesses put their lives on the line every night and donít realize it. With businesses depending more and more on the data stored in their computers, proper backups are becoming much more critical.

Southern Computer Remote Backup accomplishes several essential steps that are often overlooked or done improperly by other backup software - especially in the regular non-automated backup systems.


Backups are done on schedule, reliably. Most businesses donít do this. For one reason or another, they donít keep a regular backup regimen. Usually itís because the person responsible for doing backups (if there is one) is too busy doing something else, or someone is using the computer when itís time for a backup, or they simply forget. Since Remote Backups are done with automated software usually at night, when nobody is using the computer, backups are always done on schedule.

The correct files are backed up. Ordinary backup software is often installed with a list of files to be backed up. This set of files usually represents the state of the system when the software was installed, and often misses critical files. Further, it often fails to back up files that get added later. Compounding this problem, VERY few businesses take the trouble to reset their backup software regularly to include new files.


Southern Computer Remote Backup solves this problem by constantly reevaluating your computer system, adding files to the backup as needed. Multiple copies of files are stored using a sophisticated version control system unavailable in most other backup software of any kind. This is much too important to overlook.

The general definition of "proper" backups requires redundancy. One must keep multiple copies of the same files at different points in their development, called versions. As an example, you should have a different copy of each backed-up file for each backup session. Further, you should be able to easily restore any of your files up to any given point in time. Banks do it, big corporations do it, and so should small businesses. Only Southern Computer Remote Backup has such an easy to use version control system.

Backups are encrypted for complete security. Would you want someone to be able to slip one of your backup tapes into a pocket and take it to your competitor? It happens all the time. Tape backups are not generally encrypted, so anyone can read them and gain access to your client database, billing records, payroll, tax info, and everything else on your computer.


Southern Computer Remote Backup encrypts its backups for complete security so nobody, not even us can read your files. Finally and most importantly - Backups are immediately sent offsite and stored safely away from your computer and your business. This is where almost every business makes its biggest mistake. Even if you do everything else perfectly, your backups are of little use if your building burns, or you are unable to physically recover your tapes from the premises. Most small companies who do backups leave the tapes in the building with the computer, where they can be destroyed right along with the computer.

Of course, you can see that this would be a problem in a fire or flood or an earthquake. But it's also useful in emergencies where businesses are forced to evacuate their offices quickly. Even businesses that do backups and have good, undamaged tapes have to shut down. Many go out of business simply because they don't have access to their data.


Southern Computer Remote Backup solves this problem by automatically storing this valuable data at more than one site. So, a business can be back up and running with new computers and their latest data no matter what catastrophe happens.

 

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Pricing

Monthly Storage Volume (Compressed) Monthly  Cost/Megabyte
up to 100MB
$25 $0.25
101MB to 250MB $40 $0.16
251MB to 500MB
$50 $0.10
501MB to 1GB
$75 $0.08
1GB to 2GB
$125 $0.06
2GB to 5GB $150 $0.03
5GB to 10GB
$175 $0.02
Over 10GB CALL  

 

These prices are for one computer (including mapped network drives).  An additional client license ($10/month/computer) is required if you have additional computers to back up.

If you have the technical expertise to install/configure the backup yourself there is no additional setup charge.  If you would prefer Southern Computer to install/configure the software at your site the fee is $50/hour.  Telephone setup assistance is billed at $25/hour.  Most installations require about 1 hour to complete.

How much data and how often you backup is totally up to you.  The monthly storage volume is based on the amount of data transferred AFTER compression and encryption each month.  See the chart below for typical compression ratios.

File Type File Extension Typical Compression Ratio
Microsoft Word .doc 86%
Microsoft Excel .xls 72%
Text Files .txt 78%
Database Files .dbf 85%
Executable Files .exe 69%
Help Files .hlp 54%

 

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FAQ

Q.  Why would I need a Remote Backup Service?
A. 
Unfortunately, most small businesses do not perform a backup even if they have a tape drive. Often people think they may be executing a backup correctly, but when they absolutely need a critical file they find out that their tapes are corrupted and useless. Virtually none take their tapes off-site. Doing so would mean waiting for the backup to finish, which could take hours, and then they have to carry it with them back and forth to the office. A home-office? Who is going to get up and go out to just to bring their backup off-site? Remote Backup Service does the backup with no excuses, gets the data safely off-site in case of disaster, and eliminates the possibility of media failures making backups useless.

Q.  Won't you have access to my company's records?
A. 
No! Your files are securely encrypted before they leave your office. Only you have the password. We cannot access your data. Our encryption software is so good that the U.S. Government prohibits us from exporting our software. It's an important fact that if you lose your "key", we cannot restore the data. There is no way for us, or anyone else to unlock your files.

Q.  Do I have to install a special phone line?
A. 
No! Our system uses any kind of existing data, fax, modem and phone lines.

Q.  Can you backup my network?
A. 
Yes! Our system is fully Windows v3.1, Windows NT, OS/2, Windows for Workgroups v3.1 and Novell 2.0a or higher compatible.

Q.  What do I need as far as hardware is concerned?
A. 
Any IBM clone 486 or higher with 8mb of RAM and using Windows 95/98 or NT(SP3) and a 14.4 modem or higher

Q.  Do I have to leave my computer on all night?
A. 
Yes. In order for the scheduled backup to launch the system must be running. You can however turn off the monitor.  The position of Southern Computer is that computers should be left on all the time anyway.  Be sure to inquire how Southern Computer can protect your system from intrusion while online.

Q.  Do I have control over what files are backed up?
A. 
Yes. You have complete control over which files are backed up. You will see during installation that we have made some suggestions as to which files to include and exclude. These are designed to backup the most important files, and eliminate programs and system files. This will reduce the time spent connected to our server and save you money.

Q.  Can I change the scheduled days and times backups are done?
A. 
Yes. Our server is available 24hrs. per day, 7 days per week. You can schedule backup any time to work around your operations schedule.

Q.  Can I manually start a backup session?
A. 
Yes. Your software comes with utilities to run a backup any time. Say for example you are about to make a change to your hardware one afternoon and would like to backup your system first.

Q.  Should I do a complete backup first?
A. 
We suggest doing a master backup of all drives periodically. If you already have a backup system we recommend using it instead of the client software to do this. Always take this backup off-site! You can send Southern Computer the tapes and we will store them for you free if you are a subscriber.

Q.  How long does Southern Computer store my data?
A. 
Southern Computer stores and logs your data for a full year. At least a full month is always online for instant access. Beyond that we utilize a standard Grandfather/Father/Son backup strategy.  Technically speaking, we back up your data daily (stored for one week),  once a week we create a weekly archive (stored for one month), and once a month we create a monthly archive (stored for one year).  Southern Computer stores these backups at a secure offsite location.

Q.  Can I restore a single or selected files instead of a whole backup?
A. 
Yes. Any single file can be retrieved from any backup set

Q.  What is the reason for not backing up program files?
A. 
Program files nowadays are becoming rather large. It is a common backup philosophy to backup data and save program files. Normally, program files come with installation CD's or floppies. That is the standard method of recovery for program files. What should be backed up however, are ini, cfg and other such site specific files generated by an installation. In the this category what may also be backed up are upgrade files (NOT an upgraded program) or patches.

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