Data Backup – You never know what you’ve got

Backing Up Your Data –

A hard drive crash is devastating for anyone who loses their files, and disastrous for any business that doesn’t have a back up plan

Imagine your computers hard drive has suddenly failed.

To put yourself in this situation may seem ludicrous, but imagine losing the ability to access any of your personal files, articles you have written, images from holidays, family archives, home accounts, bills, emails, personal information.

Try it! Turn off your computer and try and remember everything that you have stored on that spinning disc. Now imagine you cannot get it back, it’s gone forever. Now you’re getting the gist of the importance of backups.

There are so many options out there, it’s easy. External hard drives, cloud back up, USB sticks or even the simple writable CD. They’re all effective, and cost efficient too.

If you’re in business here’s a data loss-prevention exercise that any organization can run at little or no cost. Simply ask for some critical data to be restored from backup. If the test is successful, great. But the chances are very good that there will be issues. In fact, there are long-time IT consultants who have often asked but never seen data successfully restored from backup.

Organizations underestimate the length and fragility of the backup chain. First off, the data has to exist in a form that can be backed up. The backup hardware and software must be functioning correctly, and the media must actually capture the information. Somebody must cause the backup to be performed and the backed-up data must be, ideally, properly documented and moved to an off-site location. Finally, the data must be restored in a timely manner, so everybody can get back to work.

The list of things that can go wrong in that chain of events is almost endless. Ironically, the biggest enemy of regular, properly executed backups is the reliability and efficiency of today’s IT systems. That dependability means that restoring data from backup is rarely necessary. Unfortunately, systems that are seldom used tend to degradate over time and that is where the danger lies.

So, if nobody takes excuses from you, you can’t accept excuses from anybody else. If you have the responsibility for keeping systems up, running and productive, plain, old-fashioned fire drills are the only answer.

Remember the last time you lost a set of keys, your mobile phone fell out of your jacket, or your credit card was left at the local store. I know how panic stricken I was, and the sad thing is, the majority of us never back up our computers and yet its so easy.

Don’t just think about it, do it.