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Online Server Backup Essentials

Seeding Your Initial Backup

by Nick Mueller, Zetta.net

One of the first questions we get asked by folks interested in Zetta's online server backup solution is, "How long will it take to ‘seed' our initial backup?"

The answer is that it depends on three things:

1. How much data do you want to protect?

2. How much bandwidth does your office have available?

3. Would you prefer to have Zetta ship you an encrypted drive to "side-load" your data into our data centers?

The vast majority of new customers choose to seed their backup via the internet. Once you've configured the lightweight software client we call ZettaMirror with the paths to backup, it begins providing data protection by sending that data to Zetta's data centers and replicating your files there.

Exactly how long it takes for the initial "seed" depends on how much bandwidth you're willing to let Zetta use, so the backup transfer doesn't slow down higher-priority traffic video (or management's web browsing). Zetta transfers your data across the internet using the ultra-efficient WebDAV protocol with up to 40 different "threads" to increase the speed.

Check your bandwidth with our Speedtest web app, which lets you see the end-to-end download and upload speeds from your site to either of our two data centers.

In general, if you've got a 100Mbps Internet connection you can send up to a terabyte per day. Alternatively, if you don't have a fast Internet connection (or are already using it heavily, or are paying based on volume), you can do the initial server backup "seed" via physical media - an external hard drive that we ship you, ready to load your backup data onto. Once we receive the drive, we "side load" your initial seed into our data center.

Seeding online is simplest, of course. But cost may be a factor. More importantly, the time before your data is protected may be an issue. You want to ensure you've got a seed backup separate from your primary data as quickly as possible, even if it will take time (shipping transit, mostly) before the backup becomes available online. If you've got over 5TB, the hard drive approach makes sense - like the saying goes, "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a truck."

Either way, Zetta begins capturing and protecting the changes to your data within minutes - and once the "seed" is online, Zetta only needs the bandwidth to flag changes... and IT admins don't have to keep wrangling with disks or tapes for every server backup cycle.

Learn more about Zetta's 3-in-1 online server backup, disaster recovery and archiving solution, or request custom pricing.

Nick is Zetta's Corporate Reporter, and has been writing and telling stories about technology with blogs, social media, and content marketing since the days when the BBS reigned.

More Stories By Derek Kol

Derek Kol is a technology specialist focused on SMB and enterprise IT innovations.