Is Your Business Backed Up?
Insure against worst-case scenarios
300 feet beneath the surface of Kent, just outside Sandwich, lies the ultimate in data security - The Bunker. It is a 60,000 square feet refuge built for the RAF during the Cold War to protect its occupants against nuclear blasts, terrorist attacks and biological warfare.
Now it has been bought by ALD, a web hosting company, and its twelve-foot thick steel doors protect the digital assets of the corporate world.
You may not need a nuclear bunker to protect your data but leaving it vulnerable to flooding, theft, hacking, vandalism or hardware failure could be a costly mistake.
Consider the Risks
A surprising number of businesses believe that bad things only happen to other people. A Microsoft bCentral poll revealed that a staggering 27% of respondents either don't know what a backup is or never do it. A survey by Dell found that 43% of medium-sized firms had no backup plans at all.
Despite this suicidal optimism, disasters do happen and companies regularly go bust as a result. Even if you have insurance, it can take weeks or months to pay out and it still takes time to get all your systems and data up and running.
Make a Plan
You need a sensible disaster recovery plan incorporating backups that are 1) regular, which means at least weekly, 2) comprehensive, 3) stored off-site and 4) regularly tested to make sure they work and include all the necessary data. So how do you do it?
First get a sense of how much data you need to backup. Review what data is vital to your business and where it is stored. Add up all the data sizes and add a factor for future growth.
Then decide on hardware. The choice largely depends on the amount of data you have. Backing up over the internet is one option, if you have a fast connection. Recordable CDs or DVDs are useful for small volumes (up 700mb and 5.2gb respectively) while DAT (Digital audio tape) and DLT (Digital linear tape) tapes are used for larger amounts.
For simple backups, the software that comes with the drive or Microsoft Backup Utility (which is included in Windows XP) is fine. For more complicated situations, such as backing up over a network from multiple machines, you may need third party software such as Backup Exec or ARCserve.