As technology professionals, we see it all the time. A hard drive becomes corrupt or fails, a power surge occurs, fatal system errors happen due to viruses or outside security breaches, and invariably valuable data is lost. We have been fortunate at times to recover data from damaged hard drives, but the results arenít guaranteed.
When it comes to maintaining sensitive and vital information on a computer or network, forethought and prevention are the most reliable roads to take. Preserving that data from possible damage or destruction involves ďbacking it upĒ.
A back up of your data is simply making an archived copy of that data and having it stored separately from the original data source. Backups are recommended for any computer user from the home to complex, multi-server networked environments. Some simple and inexpensive methods are:
CDís Ė Todayís rewritable CDís are an inexpensive and reliable media for storing up to 700 MB of information. A CD burner drive is required to record information on the CDís from your system and is a standard device on all systems sold today. However, CDís are not the most effective means of doing an automated backup, but they do work well for archiving select information (e.g.) pictures, documents, accounting data, etc.
DVDís Ė DVDís are another fairly inexpensive and reliable media like CDís, but will store up to 4 GB of information. A DVD burner drive is required to record information on the DVDís from your system. Again, DVDís are not always the most effective means of doing an automated backup, but they do work well for archiving select information (e.g.) pictures, documents, accounting data, etc.
External Hard Disk Ė Another backup method is to incorporate an external hard drive dedicated to backups. An external hard disk drive can hold data ranging from 10 to 200 GB. This external drive is relatively inexpensive for the amount of data backing up and is easy to automate. The drive is portable, which can also make it vulnerable to loss or damage.
Tape Ė One of the most common back up methods for large, regular backups is tape backups. This method requires a tape drive system and tapes available is various storage sizes from 10 GB and up. This method is easy to automate and is ideal for daily or weekly backups of large amounts of information. This method is often used by banks and other organizations with large amounts of changing data. The tapes are very portable, but should be kept in a secure environment.
When considering a backup solution, it is necessary to first analyze the amount of information to backup. Should the backup be automated, and how often should it be performed?
As with any new technology solution, there will be up front costs involved, but it is important to remember that the cost of replacing or recreating valuable lost data can far surpass the cost and maintenance of a reliable backup system.
A common problem Literati has encountered is the assumption that the backups will always work. The equipment and process are not fail safe and errors and malfunctions can occur. To help combat these issues, Literati can monitor your backup results through our ďInformation Assurance MonitoringĒ service which provides a proactive instead of reactive way of handling data backup problems before a data restore is necessary. Our monitoring service provides an extra level of comfort and insurance to your sensitive and valuable business information.
To find out more about how Literati can implement an appropriate backup solution for you or to discuss our Information Assurance Monitoring service, please contact us today at 304.296.8026 to speak with a consultant.