Be Prepared for a Data Disaster

Be Prepared for a Data DisasterI’ve never been a boy scout. Sometimes I wish I had been. I appreciate the fact that preparedness is such a central tenet of the organization. Any good Boy Scout (or wanna-be Boy Scout) should be prepared for a data disaster.

What kind of data disaster, you ask? Here are a few possibilities:

  • Computer or Server Crash – Who hasn’t experience this – at least indirectly? Think about it – the moving parts will just plain wear out. Unless you are using a solid state drive, the biggest and fastest moving part in a computer or server is the hard drive. The platters in that little box spin at somewhere between 5,400 and 15,000 revolutions per minute. It’s a mechanical device, and mechanical devices eventually fail. That’s where your data is, so relying on that device alone if foolhardy at best.
  • Natural Disaster – Who hasn’t seen the news lately? Tornadoes in Oklahoma, Hurricanes on the east coast, Wild Fires in the west – you get the picture. A lot of people and businesses irretrievably lose their data when natural disasters occur. Again, relying on data that’s only stored in one location is a bad strategy.
  • Theft – I have personally been a victim of computer theft and you can imagine the shock of losing your computer or server permanently.
  • Inaccessibility – Imagine if a man-made disaster, such as a widespread evacuation due to a chemical spill or some other inconceivable event made it impossible for you to access your data? It’s not as uncommon as you might imagine. There have been several rail disasters in recent memory that resulted in lengthy mass-evacuations.

Now that I have your attention, let’s look at strategies you can employ to make sure the scenarios mentioned above do not spell the end of your business or the loss of years of data and photos.

  • For personal computers, we recommend Leo LaPorte’s 3-2-1 strategy – Three copies of your important files – one original (on the PC), and two external backups; Two types of media (hard drive, optical, or offsite), and One copy (in whatever media) always stored offsite.
  • For servers and business computers, we recommend using our RescueSMB strategy. This plan uses a Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) appliance to host your onsite data backups, while also replicating both the base image as well as frequent incremental backups in one or more secure data centers. More than just a data backup, this solution provides the ability to “spin up” your server(s) and any critical computers on-site or in the “cloud”. Imagine one of the scenarios above – the crash scenario for instance. Your server decides to give up the ghost one day. Thom Infotech monitors your environment and goes into action as soon as the problem is detected. A virtual instance of your mission critical server can be started in mere minutes, giving you back your data and applications while the server is being repaired or replaced. Later, the backed-up data can be restored to the new or repaired server. You would continue business as usual the entire time with almost no disruption. Furthermore, a natural or man-made disaster would be addressed by bringing up that same virtual instance of your server in the cloud. After a few configuration changes, you would go back to work from your alternate location and continue business-as-usual until order is restored.

Take a lesson from the Boy Scouts – be prepared for a data disaster. Contact Thom Infotech to find out how we can help you weather the storms of life with your data intact!