Posts Tagged ‘ backing up data ’

Take It Back – Part I

One Business Owner’s Experience

Those dreadful little words “I have no backup

The fear the terror and, oh, all that wasted time.

Just this week, I had a customer call me and said, “We have no data for April can you help us?”

We went through the normal process of determining if this was a technical problem, process problem or just a goofy mix up of some sort. After about 20 mins of remote assistance we determined that the data was gone – why? Well as important as question is, at that moment, it is a truly secondary issue.

“What are we going to do?” was the question the business owner had.

My instinctive response was, “Let’s get the backup out and we can easily restore the data from last week.”

– Silence –

In a small guilty voice came the reply “We have no backup.”  Further explained, “We have never had a problem before so we did not back up the data.”

“Oy,” I thought. That is what a backup is for – those times you think you will not need it. I felt so bad but there was nothing we could do. The customer was forced to re-enter days of data entry. I felt helpless but there was truly nothing that could be done.

This is a typical scenario, unfortunately, preventable – but still typical. It may be one of the last things that you think about but you must have a backup regimen implemented across your company. It does not have to be expensive or that complicated.

Here are some important definitions to understand:
Backup: A retrievable electronic copy of company file/s
Backup Device: The device that the backup files are stored on
File: A computer file (Word Document, Excel file, Photoshop Image, etc)
Folder: A location on your machine or other computer that files are stored in (My Documents, Acctng, Scheduling, etc)
Off-Site Storage: Hosted backup destination. These are services you can purchase to store your files on instead of using your own hardware. The advantage is they backup your backups – very cool
Thumb Drive: Small USB device that can be attached to a computer to store medium levels of important files (Usually 10GB of data or less)
NAS Drive: Network Attached Storage. This is a big huge storage device located on YOUR network. It is devoted to storing files and basically has no other purpose. (Becoming more popular)
Tape Drives: Large capacity tape devices are installed inside one of r your computers and have software programs that will go and get the files you want backed up. (Mostly outmoded)

Now, Consider the Following Basic Plan

For Small & Medium Sized Companies:

1. Create a shared folder organized by user name (Sally, Billy, Henry) or you may choose to use department headings (Acct, Payroll, Production, Scheduling, etc)
2. Save all “important files” in the above appropriate folder.
3. Backup this folder using a variety of backup mechanisms. (Thumb, Tape, DVD, NAS)

Come up with a simple plan and, most importantly, stick to it….

Next Time: Part II

Backup Databases
Backup Techniques
Restoring Files

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