Do You Have One - Does Yours Work?
If your main file server crashed today, do you know how to recover your data? Most have backup systems, but you would be surprised at how many businesses don’t know how to restore that data, AND, ARE YOU BACKING UP THE RIGHT STUFF?
What would it cost you to be separated from your data for one hour, one day, or to have to reconstruct and recompile basic data? You not only need to count the down-time of valuable resources (employees), but also the loss of what they would have been doing had the crash not occurred. Are you sure you can reconstruct all of the data that you need? And then there is the poor customer that is not receiving service during the down-time. Therefore, backups should be of serious concern to all businesses.
Tape is the tried and true method for effective backups. The advantage of tape is that it can be easily carried off-site in case of fire or other disaster. In addition, tape lends itself to weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly archives. The disadvantage, due to it’s sequential storage nature, is that it takes a long time to find and restore files at the end of the tape AND tape is somewhat fragile.
NAS (Network Attached Storage) used as a backup system is like a small inexpensive file server that attaches to your network. NAS can be mapped as a network drive (drive F: for example) or as a network place, whereby one can save data directly.
Due to it’s random access qualities, it can also be used as a fast and effective backup system. By using two NAS devices, one is used to backup data on “odd nights” (Monday Wednesday Friday) whilst the “even night” backup (Tuesday Thursday Saturday) is carried off site in case of fire. About the size of a paperback book, weighing in at around ½ pound, and a price point less than a single tape drive, NAS is proving to be a true contender in the backup world. In fact, for the price of an 80 gig tape system you can get two 250 gig NAS systems (as of the date of this writing).
However, the real trick is to plan your backups so that you backup the right stuff AND THEN know how to retrieve or restore that data when you need it. To accomplish this we recommend a Backup System Review. The Backup System Review will document the backup procedure, detail the files that are included in the backup, detail the restore procedures, and will test the backup to make certain that the files are good. Armed with a backup system and the know-how to use it, a data crash can become a momentary blip in an otherwise perfect day.