I have to say on the front end that backups aren’t sexy or exciting, but they are critical to your company’s continued operations in the event you have a disaster strike your firm. Disaster can take the form of PC failure, natural disasters, and theft.When I opened CPA for Small Business, LLC , I made the decision to have a paperless office. I was successful in doing this in the first year, but as my practice grew the mounting cost of off-site backups made this less desirable. So after a year or so, I moved to a quasi-paperless office. Under this system, I kept critical documents in a paperless format, but kept uncritical documents in my filing cabinet kept workpapers.
Last year, I made the decision to move back to a completely paperless office. This was due to the economical costs of Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and CloudBerry’s Backup software.CloudBerry Online Backup is a PC based backup client that allows you to save your documents to an Amazon S3 backup site. For a month, I tested the CloudBerry Backup and Amazon S3 Hosting before moving to it exclusively. I’ve been impressed with both Amazon S3 as well as CloudBerry’s AS3 client software.
One of the most important criteria for me with offsite backup software is encryption. What impressed me about CloudBerry’s Backup software is that there are eighteen different encryption logarithms to choose from. The number of encryption choices demonstrated to me that CloudBerry made data security a priority when developing the software.
The only thing I feel is lacking is the ability to password protect the application at the client-level. However, I read on CloudBerry Lab's support forum that this feature may be developed and available in future releases of the software.
I have also noticed that the backup speed is greater than the service I used before. I don’t know if this is due to network bottlenecks at my previous provider (i.e. many customers attempting to make evening backups) or that the encryption software is more efficient. Whichever it is, it has been nice to have daily backups take less than two hours as opposed to it taking four hours or more.
I’d also like to give kudos to CloudBerry Lab's sales and customer support. When I started the Virtual CFO Blog, I made the decision that I would not accept gratuities in exchange for blog posts or reviews. I don’t ever want readers to think my opinion was swayed because I received something free. By doing so, my credibility drops and my blog becomes an advertising platform and not a source of information for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
That said. CloudBerry licenses are for one computer. I have set up my laptop to serve as a “hot backup site” in the event my PC fails. I have all of the software I use in my public accounting practice installed on my laptop in the event I have a problem with my PC (which has happened once in the 3.5 years CPA for Small Business, LLC has been open). If there is a failure of my PC, all I have to do is boot up my laptop and retrieve the data I need from a backup and I’m in business.
With this in mind, I requested a second license for my laptop. CloudBerry’s support person sent me a second license with the request that I blog about the software. In my reply to this email, I explained my blog policy and offered to pay for the second license (to be fair, CloudBerry backup is affordable at $30/license, so it wouldn’t be a burden to buy a second license and the actual cost of ownership would still be well below that of the prior backup service I used). In response, the CloudBerry support person wrote to not worry about writing a blog posts and that I could keep the second license.This series of events impressed me. Because of this response, I am able to write this blog post about CloudBerry Backup software and the service I received from their staff. I give them kudos for both their software and their service.