No user intervention is required after installation
Once installed, the application runs as a service on your PC and launches automatically at a daily scheduled time without any user intervention. As long as your computer is powered on and has Internet connectivity, the scheduled data backup will be processed. Additionally, daily email notifications indicating backup results give visibility to the end-user, so immediate action can be taken should a backup fail for whatever reason.
Data is encrypted (scrambled) using 3-times bank-strength encryption and cannot be read without your account details, password and encryption key. This encryption process takes place on your side BEFORE the data is sent along a secure communications tunnel to us. It therefore leaves in an encrypted state and is stored on our side as such.
Most other backup routines store the relevant data in its native format (very insecure!). In addition, the AIT Online’s Storage Platform is located in a secure data centre (Vodacom Business Data Centre in Midrand, Gauteng), equipped with 24/7 physical security, generators, UPS’s, fire detection systems and cooling. The data backups are mirrored on three separate file servers in two different locations.
REDUCED BANDWIDTH IMPACT (ONLY INCREMENTAL CHANGES ARE UPLOADED)
The AIT Online’s solution uploads incremental changes at a Bit or Binary (0′s and 1′s) level, as a result, daily incremental backup sets are reduced and have a completely insignificant impact on your bandwidth. If your IT manager or support person advises that online backup solutions are “bandwidth hungry”, please ask him/her to call us so that we can explain the highly efficient and cost effective process that our solution uses!
Initial, larger backups are written to appropriate media locally, copied to DVD or external hard drive in an encrypted state, and sent via courier to the Datacentre. The encrypted data is loaded onto the servers, and the next backup from the client automatically imports the initial backup set and then sends only the data that has changed since the initial backup. This is called a “Snapshot”. Should you require additional large amounts of data to be added to your AIT Onlines account later, the Snapshot method may again be deployed.
DATA IS RECOVERABLE TO-THE-DAY WITHIN 60 DAYS
AIT Online is best used for data that changes on a daily basis, our storage platform stores 60 days’ worth of daily backups. This means that you can retrieve data from any backup “to-the-day” during a 60 day period, (most Financial professionals are aware of anomalies within days),an additional 90 day consolidation will retain data for a 90th day AFTER it has been de-selected on the client’s side.
This is a “last-known good backup” of all files selected on the client’s side, as long as it is included for backup, we’ll keep it. The logic here is, if you don’t want it backed-up and you have de-selected it for backup, then we don’t need to keep it either, and it is flushed after 3 months.
All client-selected data is ALWAYS available for restore, it’s just that we consolidate data in a master file after 60 days. This means that you can restore any selected data file at a selected point in time during the most recent 60 day window or restore the consolidated file as it was at a point in time more than 60 days ago!
REMEMBER! We can only give you back what you have given us, so data selections are critical to the process and we encourage end-users to conduct a Data Classification exercise beforehand, this usually evolves during the TRIAL period.
Should you require data to be kept for longer periods e.g. e-mail retention, you may backup the data to an archive folder, select it for backup, and ensure it remains selected as it will then be carried over month-to-month, because this data doesn’t change, there is no impact on bandwidth.
YOUR IMPORTANT COMPANY AND PRIVATE DATA IS SECURE FROM FIRE AND THEFT AS YOUR DATA IS STORED OFFSITE
It is a well-known fact that the safest and most compliant data backup routine is one that stores vital data off-site. Off-site backups that comprise USB drives, local magnetic tapes or DVD’s taken home by company personnel are not secure or compliant within standard Good Corporate Governance Policy.
The AIT Online’s solution starts from as little as R99 + vat per month. There are no additional charges for bandwidth or data retrieval by the customer. In addition, you are able to restore data yourself over the Internet. AIT Online’s will only bill an additional fee if large restore volumes dictate a call-out, in which case standard call-out rates apply.
Urgent restores involving shipping of drives or DVD’s to areas outside of Johannesburg carry standard courier costs and are for the customer’s account.
EASY TO INSTALL
Installation is a wizard driven process, or AIT Online’s Support Consultants may use our secure Remote Support Tool to assist with installation, with your permission, whilst you watch and are in telephonic contact with the attending Technician. Alternatively, we have a network of Resellers nationally who will assist free of charge, unless the customer’s IT environment is complicated and troublesome, in which case standard call-out rates apply.
DATA CAN BE RETRIEVED AND RESTORED AT ANY TIME FROM ANYWHERE
Once uploaded to the AIT Online’s platform, data can be retrieved 24/7/365 from anywhere in the world using a WebAccess product (as long as you have not forgotten your account details, password and encryption key)
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW SECURE IS MY DATA ONCE ITS BACKED UP TO YOUR DATA STORAGE PLATFORM?
When you register with us, well ask you to create your own data encryption key. Without your encryption key, the data cannot be decrypted once it’s been backed up! The backup encryption technology is three to four times stronger than regular internet banking.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FORGET MY ENCRYPTION KEY?
We do not keep a record of your encryption key (for your own security). We recommend that you keep a printed copy locked in a safe or safety deposit box, or give custodianship of the key to a trusted adviser such as your accountant.
WHAT TYPE OF INTERNET CONNECTION IS OPTIMAL FOR THE IRONTREE SOLUTION?
We recommend you have either an ADSL, Diginet or Wireless connection. The daily data backups only transmit data changes for the day (incrementally), thus the bandwidth required is minimal. Our solution will work over a dial-up connection but this is not recommended due to the potential for the line to fail to disconnect properly once the backup is complete.
WILL THE About IT Now SOLUTION USE A MAJOR PART OF MY MONTHLY ADSL ‘CAP’ AND WILL I THUS HAVE TO INCREASE THE ADSL CAP?
No, the daily incremental backups are (in most cases) extremely small and do not use significant amounts of cap. The exception would be if your business processes huge volumes of data.
WHAT ABOUT THE INITIAL BACKUP?
Your first backup could contain a large amount of data, thus using a portion of your monthly cap and taking some time. We recommend you schedule your backups to happen at night. If the data files you require to be backed up are extremely large, we can arrange to collect an initial data backup on CD or DVD. We will then create the first ‘back-up image’ on our servers, so that subsequent daily backups will contain small amounts of data.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I NEED TO RESTORE A LARGE AMOUNT OF DATA THAT I DO NOT WISH TO DOWNLOAD OVER MY ADSL CONNECTION?
In this case, we offer a service whereby we will write the data to DVD (or other media) and courier the data to you overnight (or make it available the same day if your company is located in the same city as one of our data centres. This is a major advantage of using a South African based service provider.
HOW CAN I BE SURE THAT IRONTREE WILL NOT LOSE MY BACKED UP DATA, FOR EXAMPLE WHAT HAPPENS IF THE IRONTREE SERVER IS DESTROYED OR STOLEN?
Our data platform is hosted at the Vodacom Business Data Centre in Midrand, one of South Africas most advanced, high-tech and secure data centres. Our infrastructure is replicated and mirrored so all data is stored in two locations, thus the chance of losing your backup is virtually nonexistent.
HOW RELIABLE IS THE BACKUP TECHNOLOGY?
Our backup technology has been in use internationally for years. Companies using the same technology as About IT Now include Old Mutual, Macsteel, Discovery Health and Media24.
HOW CAN I DETERMINE THE SIZE OF MY FIRST BACKUP BEFORE THE UPLOAD TO THE About IT Now STORAGE PLATFORM COMMENCES?
Once youve completed the installation and selected the folders and files you wish to back up, merely select the size button on the toolbar in the Attix5 interface. The software will then calculate the size of the selected data and display the result on-screen.
IS THE IRONTREE SOLUTION ONLY DESIGNED TO BACKUP APPLICATION DATA SUCH AS PASTEL, PILOT SOFTWARE, VIP PAYROLL, QUICKBOOKS DATA, OR CAN I SELECT ANY DATA ON MY COMPUTER?
The About IT Now solution can back up ANY DATA that is selected by you at any time, i.e. you can vary the data selection by adding or deleting files or folders AT ANY TIME.
CAN I BACKUP FILES THAT RESIDE ON A NETWORK DRIVE AND NOT ON THE LOCAL PC?
Because we utilise Microsofts Volume Shadow Copy Service (or VSS) to manage open files, the data should reside on the machine housing the data. We are able to backup across a network, but since VSS does not work over a network (a Microsoft limitation, not an About IT Now one), open files on another machine on the network MAY be skipped during the backup process, thereby compromising the integrity of the backup. To resolve this, we allow you to install a site license at a marginal cost, which will allow your second, third, fourth machines requiring backup to utilise their own operating systems VSS functionality, thereby ensuring that these machines open files will be backed up.
ACCESSIBLE (HUMAN!) SUPPORT
About IT Now is a South African company,your data is stored on our own Storage Platform, located in a South African-based data centre, by a South African company.