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Backup is a lifeline

Having backups of your computers and servers is a lifeline. It’s not something that you need until you do, and then it is critical.

Why do you need backups?

There are many reasons that you might need backups. These include:

  • A team member accidentally deletes an important or critical file
  • One of your files becomes corrupt for an unknown reason
  • Your PC hard drive crashes and all the data is lost
  • Your PC is stolen
  • Your PC is destroyed due to an environmental issue like a leak or storm
  • A computer file is lost

What type of backup should you have?

Backups are classified as either onsite or offsite. Onsite backups are stored at your location, and offsite backups are stored somewhere else – either at your home or in the cloud.

I recommend both an onsite backup and an offsite backup. Why? Onsite backups can be utilized when needed, and the restore can usually be done fairly quickly.

A cautionary tale

In my previous business, I religiously did my backups for many years. Originally, it was backup to tape. I had two rotating sets of tapes. One set stayed onsite, and the other set was stored at my home.

When hard drives because affordable as storage, I switched everything to backup to hard drives onsite. Since it was saved to hard drives, it was inconvenient to have an offsite set. I thought, what could happen, the server backup is bolted into a server rack in a secured server room.

Several years later I was having the roof replaced at our building location. They started on Monday, and by Friday they had the roof complete except for one small corner over the back of the building (over my server room). They put tarps up in case there was rain. Well, there was rain and it poured into my server room. Luckily, the stream of water came pouring down about 4 feet away from the server rack, and the servers were spared.

I realized then that if the water had ruined my servers, my company would have been out of business because I had no offsite backup. Everything was being backed up to a server in the same rack as the other servers. I needed cloud backup, which I implemented that following week.

Structuring a backup example

I suggest a two set approach to backup – a local online backup to a NAS (network attached storage) system, and a secondary cloud backup.

There are many PC backup applications but the one I recommend is VEEAM. It will automatically run backups based on the schedule you set. You can restore either an entire system drive, or file by file – the perfect solution.

In addition, you should backup critical information to a cloud backup. There are also many good cloud backups. One I recommend is Crashplan. Again, you can set it up to automatically run backups overnight on the information you specify. Restoring individual files is fairly quick. If you need a large dataset restored, they can even overnight a drive to you.

Don’t procrastinate on setting up an efficient backup system until it is too late.