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Don't lose your data!

Author: Alan Beber

The need for regular backups has been repeated ad nauseum and for good reason. Every part of your computer system can be replaced, reconfigured and restored, except your data!

Read this true story:

So once you have acknowledged the need for such backups, the question remains - what is the best way to do it? The options range from simple to complex depending on your need for security of data.

For instance, a home user could simply use a CD/DVD, USB Memory Stick, or USB Hard Disk. A great backup utility is SyncBack which is easy to configure and versatile.

But for a business user, one backup is not enough. What happens if the backup fails? What happens if the external Hard Disk is stolen? What happens if there is a fire in your office?

The rule should always be - Belt, Braces & String (more than 1 type preferably).

Recommended Backup Regime for Home Users

Optionally, create an image of PC using Drive Snapshot. ABCS can provide a backup script to automate this process.

Backup all user data, plus this PC image, to an external USB Hard Disk, using Syncback Free.

Recommended Backup Regime for Small Businesses

Monday - Optionally create an image of all PCs using Drive Snapshot. ABCS can provide a backup script to automate this process.

Backup all company data, plus these PC images, to an external USB Hard Disk, using SyncbackSE (a more powerful version).

Or if you have a server with a tape drive, use enterprise software like Symantec Backup Exec for Windows, or Storix System Backup Administrator for Linux, to write all this information to tape.

Tuesday to Friday - Repeat process to a new external disk/tape. Put previous disk/tape in a fire-proof safe, or take offsite.

Repeat this regime week by week.

Recommended Backup Regime for Enterprises

As above, but instead of 5 disks/tapes, use a cycle of 20-25 over a monthly period.

On the last day of the month take the disk/tape to secure storage offsite, to be retained for up to 3 years. Then replace with a new disk/tape.


Online Backup for IFAs

The FCA requires that all data taken offsite is encrypted, and so if you backup to a tape or external disk, and the media is lost or stolen, they will fine your company.

For this reason ABCS has partnered with the RISC Group to offer low-cost online backup which is encrypted in transmission and storage, and is kept in exclusively UK based servers.

Please read this article to learn the advantages of this method of secure backup.

Contact ABCS to find out more.

I once had to visit a new customer whose server had gone down because of a faulty hard disk. I replaced the disk and reinstalled the operating system with no problem, but when I asked for his data backup tapes, he looked at me very sheepishly and admitted that he had not done a backup of the system or company data for over 3 years. Oh dear!

What happened next? The customer not only faced re-inputting 3 years worth of data, but worse than that, his application software had been specially written years before and now was unobtainable. In other words his entire computer system was worthless and his business very fragile.

And the reason for this parlous state? He didn't have the staff or the time to do this most basic but essential system administration.

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