‘Practical Techie:’ Do back up your data

Written by  //  December 5, 2013  //  Biz Views  //  1 Comment

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Author Rafael Matos is professor of multimedia at a private university and director of the Caribbean Multimedia Center, a nonprofit media lab focusing on closing the digital divide. Questions should be sent to cccrafael@gmail.com.

Author Rafael Matos is professor of multimedia at a private university and director of the Caribbean Multimedia Center, a nonprofit media lab focusing on closing the digital divide. Questions should be sent to cccrafael@gmail.com.

The business world is becoming evermore digitized.

Soon, old invoices, query letters, cancelled checks, or accounting records will no longer lay archived in those even older file drawers. Even the big stack of printed resumes has gone the way of the obsolete yellow pages book.

Today, most mail to medium enterprise data usually resides on company or home computers and portable devices such as notebooks, tablets and smartphones. As more and more critical business information is stored on these computers, servers or had disks, the precaution of backing up the critical data becomes twofold and even threefold. It should be, in fact, standard practice, even for a small biz.

Studies suggest that backup tends to be a low priority for small enterprise. It is not uncommon for a mini firm to shut down after losing critical data because such an event is crippling for any size company. So it is key not only to back up, but also to have a sound data recovery strategy for continuity and sustainability, experts suggest.

The best master plan is to combine a hardware-based backup system with cloud storage. One must take note that in the case of cloud backup, the downside is that recovered data must then be downloaded. This will be bandwidth-intensive and, a slow, painstaking task.

Yet, if this road is not taken, the impresario must set up an in-house automated backup process to remove the risk of human error or lapse of memory. Beware; backing up big data in the cloud comes at no small cost so it would be wise to search for alternative methods.

Not a cheap proposition
If a company loses vital data, the recovery process must be as fast as possible, so as to resume operations within a short period of time. It is wise to begin setting up a data crisis budget and to research all the possibilities, cost-wise and with whatever urgency.

Yet, data vaults are everywhere. On the free small storage side are Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud. Small storage is defined as less than 100GB per month. As an example, Google offers 5GB, Dropbox some 2GB, Sky Drive 7GB, and iCloud 5GB.

For big, bulky data, you need a fast bandwidth connection and fast transfer protocols. If you pay, the volumes increase to 16TB, 100GB, 100GB and 50GB in the above-mentioned order of cloud vaults.

Since most small businesses depend on an ADSL connection, a firm can move an upstream of data at 2.5Mbps, which amounts to 800GB per month. It is advisable that to push up data to the cloud, it is better to do so at night in hemisphere, when there is less congestion in the local access networks.

In the case of huge chunks of data, such as 1TB per month, it is best to upstream it in two to three chunks of 350 GB each. In a cyberspace spot such as Amazon S3, that would cost some $100 a month. If there were a collapse of your home data, Amazon would charge some $150 for recovery from its cloud storage.

Always store in appropriately labeled folders, Avoid DVDs or CDs as much as you can and prefer external hard drives that you should disconnect and store safely. Never leave them connected as they warm up and eventually seize.

Keep the original data in a clean, safe place, always work with copies at the office, maintaining the original data untouched. Backing up protocol requires that the original data be in no less than two different places at once, far from other, whether a traditional shoebox or the cloud, the office and at home.

Never in the car.

One Comment on "‘Practical Techie:’ Do back up your data"

  1. Sara Hiasat December 9, 2013 at 8:04 AM · Reply

    Good article. However I have a couple suggestions of my own ; firstly, the backup process does not have to be a pain in the back taking up all of your bandwidth; if you choose a software that does not actually throttle that bandwidth.

    As for the big bulky data , which is as you stated, more than 100GB of storage, is most often meant for businesses and therefore should be treated as such. I’d advise looking at Zoolz Business with their TeraByte plan that is very affordable as well as technically advanced…

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