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Business Continuity

Computer Backups: Leave Nothing to Chance

By July 25, 2008 No Comments

Most people are surprised when we tell them that 100% of hard drives are going to fail at some point.  That's right.  Hard drives all have moving parts and they will fail at some point.  The best thing you can do is to backup your computer and back it up often.  I suggest having multiple backups in multiple places (you can never have too many backups).

The key to getting frequent computer backups is for the process to be completely automated.  In addition to the automated backups implemented at our firm, I also have my own backup routines scheduled.  In the office I have an external USB hard drive connected to my laptop's docking station.  At noon a scheduled routine backs up my data to this USB drive.  At home I have a shared folder on my home computer which I use for backups.  At midnight an automated backup routine backs up my data this shared folder over my wireless home network.  Both of these backup routines are completely hands free and do not require me to remember to do anything.  Plus, each backup is in a separate location so in case something happens to either location, I will still have a good backup I can rely on.

The moral of the story is that your backups must be automated to be effective.  Many people realize the importance of automating their server backups but neglect to backup their workstations routinely.  There are many options for setting up scheduled backups.  I suggest having at least two backup routines in place, one implemented at a corporate level and managed by your IT administrator and one implemented by you personally.  As I said at the beginning of the tip, you cannot have too many backups and I have had to fall back to them too many times to leave anything to chance.

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