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Backup system effectiveness

How effective is your backup system?

How effective is your backup system?

I've received some fun emails regarding my Backup Basics blog posts, mostly from IT guys ranting about semantics. I was impressed that any IT guys read this blog in the first place. It's not written for them- it's written for small business owners. But I'm at least relieved that backup and restoration of data is on their mind.  Good for them.

Remember Backup Basic #1? Do it now. I thought I should follow up on that post by clarifying something: Doing it is the most important thing.  Doing it in a way that's restorable is part of that. It's important not to forget to backup in a way that's effective for the organization.  I walked into an architect's office a few years back and while I was in the reception area I heard a "ding" bell sound go off every five minutes.  The receptionist stood up every time she heard the bell, went somewhere behind the wall to do something and then came back, until the next "ding".   This happened the entire hour and a half I was there.  I could see her from the conference room.  Up.  Down. Up. Down.   Before I left, I had to see what was going on.

I found out she assigned the fun task of rotating DVD-R media every time the DVD-R burner on the server was ready for the next disk to be inserted.  About 600GB of data later, the company would have one complete backup.  That's about 4.5GB per disk- or roughly 134 DVD-Rs.   

Besides the fact that this Pavlovian experience was taking the face and voice of the company away from reception (which is bad for business in general), imagine how long it would take to restore in the event of a failure?  Worse yet, the spindle of disks (see picture) was kept on top of the server.

If you're going to have a backup system, make it a smart one.  It has to be thought through in terms of workflow, not just technology.   In 12 years, I have yet to find a backup system that's serving the owners of the business well.  My backup system audits always raise eyebrows.  If you are wondering if your system is really working, give me a call or contact me for a complimentary consultation that we can schedule and complete via FaceTime, Skype or in person.