Do you have backups of your data? Really?

You think I’d be an “expert” on this, being that I am now ‘in the industry’ and formerly having been in Supply Chain Planning for countless years, making sure contingency plans were in place for all eventualities!

Well this morning, I woke up to find my Networked drive not available…

  • PC and NAS drive lights on – check
  • Computer connection to network – check
  • Heart attack – check!

After countless re-boots of the PC and the Router with no joy , I started to reconcile myself to losing all those DVDs and Albums I’d ripped for central distribution, hadn’t thought about the 3 years of real data too!

Then it came to me how complacent I’d been. I’d bought a NAS drive that had two disks for data redundancy. Feeling smug & secure, I’d not considered that the unit may fail. What’s the point of making external back-ups, it will be ok!

I’d pondered that question myself recently and armed with the enticement of 100 off I’d ordered a new server to mitigate this exact issue. Irony is cruel – it arrives TODAY of all days (stop laughing)

So the moral of this story is very simple really:

Don’t rely solely on your storage device for backing up!

  • Get your data onto an external device to cover the device failing
  • Make sure the external device is robust
  • Data very important?
    Get the external data off-site to guard against a disaster (flooding, fire theft etc.)
  • Consider ‘cloud’ based backups like Dropbox, Carbonite, Mozy AS WELL as your onsite backups
  • Have an offsite backup policy in case your office burns down or floods
  • Have a policy, process, system in place. Grandfather / Father / Son

Fortunately this story has a happy ending.

I’d remembered my trouble shooting classes and the OSI Layer model (detail not important!) and thought about one last go using a bottom up approach to solving the problem – first layer is physical so I checked the cable and guess what : turns out that the network cable was faulty!

Probably another moral there too -but that’s for another blog!