Backing up your data: advice from a CCR Expert

February 21st, 2017
Backing up your data: advice from a CCR Expert

Backups are the single most important investment in an organization. Being able to get back to a point in time before a minor incident, like accidentally deleting a document, or a total disaster like a building fire, is crucial to an organization’s survival.

The problem with convincing someone of the importance of a backup is that it’s sort of like trying to convince someone to buy insurance: you never need it… until you do. And by then, it’s too late.

Most businesses today realize that you need to have a solid disaster recovery plan, but few people at home even think about it. It’s backed up somewhere, right? The cloud? That USB drive I plugged in a while back?

The problem is, most backup solutions aren’t set it and forget it. They need to be monitored, managed and confirmed functional regularly. If you subscribe to an online backup solution, are you being notified when a backup completes successfully? Have you ever tried to perform a test restore of your data? If you have utilized the built in Microsoft backup available on most systems, are you setup to receive notifications via email? Do you have it pop up a notification to let you know it has run? And again, have you ever tried to perform a restore? Performing a test restore can be a quick process with most solutions, and can immediately tell you if there is a problem.

We had a situation a few years back where someone had a USB backup setup of their personal PC. The USB drive had built-in backup software, and could schedule itself to run…but didn’t have any notification settings at all. Sadly, what was supposed to be backed up was the user’s picture collection of their children, and even more sadly, the backup wasn’t running as well as they thought it was, and many pictures were lost. They weren’t getting a notification. They weren’t checking the backup to see if it had been running. And they had never performed a test restore.

Another situation that comes up with the average home user is copying their files to be backed up to an external drive. On the surface, this seems like a great way of ensuring you have a copy of your files. Unfortunately, the reality is external hard drives can die just like any other hard drive, and if you leave the drive plugged into the PC, it’s susceptible to the same potential disasters than can befall your computer.

One user had kept all of his family photos and important documents on the drive, and ONLY the drive, and the drive and the PC both were destroyed from a lightning storm. Luckily we were able to recover the pictures that time using a very expensive service. But the lesson there is you might not have access to tools to perform that recovery, and if your pictures aren’t in two physical locations, ideally on two separate drives (one plugged in, one in fire safe box), you really aren’t protected in the event of a disaster.

Thankfully there are many viable solutions out there to back your files up, confirm they are backed up and even perform a test restore as often as you like.

CCR offers multiple backup solutions that can give you that peace of mind. Give us a call today to discuss a solution that suits you and your business’s needs.

Kevin Peters - Senior NOC Engineer

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