Your data is absolutely precious
This isn’t hyperbole or exaggeration; whether it’s your company’s accounts, your project data, records, or anything else, chances are there are things on your computers that can never, ever be replaced. A lot of things you are in fact legally obligated to store for several years, and it’s no coincidence that most companies, if they suffer permanent data loss, go out of business in a matter of months.
But is it protected?
For something so valuable, it’s surprising how little care people take to preserve it. At ISCAdigital, we see a lot of data pass through our doors; a lot of the time when we ask the question ‘is it backed up?’, the answer is usually ‘no’, ‘not recently’, or ‘not all of it’. Now, a lot of the time when we’ve had customers with failing hard drives we’ve been able to recover the contents fully; even if the customer has full backups, we make every effort to keep things just as they are. But sometimes the worst happens, and the drive is dead, nothing is going to bring back your data. We hate this as much as you do, which is why you need proper backups.
What is a proper backup?
A backup isn’t just ‘copy files to an external drive’. This is certainly a basic way of doing it, but no-one will remember to plug the drive in, copy all their data across, and take it out again every single day. A proper backup system:
- Is automatic. Whether it’s hourly, daily, or even weekly, it doesn’t rely on you. Your computer is excellent at remembering to do routine things; so why not let it do the work for you?
- Is robust. Your data needs to be on at least three devices, ideally, and one of them should be off-site. This could be a friend’s house, your house (if the computer is in the office), another office of your business, or one of any number of cloud backup providers.
- Is reliable. It’s no good having backups if none of them work. Ideally this means testing them on a regular basis to ensure they’re what you’re expecting. But realistically, no-one wants to do that, so you’ll want to select backup systems you can trust.
Is the Cloud enough?
A lot of people store their data on cloud services nowadays – be it onedrive, dropbox, icloud, google drive, or one of the other solutions available. And we absolutely recommend doing that, but is it enough?
Few if any of the cloud providers give a 100% guarantee of keeping your data intact; they will do their best and usually the chances of a problem are slim, but they’re not zero. At the end of the day, they won’t claim responsibility for your data, and so while they’re absolutely a good idea and solve a lot of problems, if your data is important you do need a real backup.
Now, choosing a backup solution is no simple matter, and it greatly depends on how quickly you need to get back up and running in the event of a problem, how much money you’re willing to spend to make it work, and how much redundancy you can afford.
For Mac Users
We absolutely cannot recommend Time Machine enough. It’s built into every single mac in the past decade, it provides quality, easily viewed incremental updates to any external drive or NAS. It’s one of the best things about OSX / macOS and is incredibly simple to use.
For Small Business Windows Users
Time is money. You have something fail, you want it back up and running yesterday. At ISCAdigital we can help with this, with solutions that can just retain your data and settings for a cost effective price, or maintain complete backups that can instantly be booted in the event of a disaster. If your devices go missing or die, we can make sure you have a replacement complete with all your data ready to go in an agreed-upon time frame.