Tip of the Month
Every month our Director, Axel Oudijk, gives business users a top tip to help prevent problems that might adverseley affect their office network in the future.
Tip of the Month - December
Backup Your Stuff
Whether you’re a home or business user, the chances are you don’t backup properly. It’s boring and there’s more to life than remembering to copy files and data every now and then. We agree, but then we’ve seen first hand the distress and disbelief people suffer because of serious computer crashes and resulting loss of “everything” because they did not backup.
Wind back time only 15 years ago to 1993 and you’d find that most businesses would still print off documents and file in a cabinet, and photographers would develop their photos and place in an album or portfolio. Only fire, flood or theft would threaten these methods. Then came the “paperless” office, digital cameras and now digital music which has left all of us vulnerable to electronics, magnetics and their manufacturers. Progress? Sometimes we wonder.
The most troublesome part of a computer is the hard drive, as it’s got moving parts, which wear out. In 4 to 6 years of average use it will be kaput. Depending on what part of the drive has malfunctioned, companies such as ourselves may be able to recover the data, but if not it will need to go to a Lab. Then wave bye bye to at least £300.
So if you’re organised and don’t create too much stuff each week, just copy your files on DVD / CD once a month. If you use your Laptop / PC seriously then either buy a portable hard drive like the Freeagent Go or use an online Backup service – click here. If you use an online option, you won’t even have to remember to backup as it’s done automatically when you surf the net. Don’t forget to keep all your software disks or serial numbers ( print them off! ) in a safe place as it’s not just the data that needs re-loading onto a new hard drive.
For business users who know they should at least be using a tape backup every day, there are two better options. First is to backup your Server onto a portable hard drive using Acronis software. This backs up your data and software in a way that means your entire system can be re-mounted in as little as 2 hours should your disk fail, rather than painstakingly loading your Office and software programs one by one then piecing together your data into re-created folders. You should also be using a minimum of 2 hard drives in your Server in a “mirrored” system meaning that if one drive fails, the other instantly takes over.
An online option is the most secure for business, as you would need to remember to take your portable hard drive home in case of fire or theft on your premises. What’s more you are paying for the service, so if they muck up you can sue the pants off them, rather than punching yourself in the face for your own shortcomings.
For a bit of light-hearted relief have a look at this short video starring John Cleese (click here) ……and then get your backup strategy sorted!