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Practical Techie: The pain of data loss is heavy

As the business world is ever more digitized, the Achilles Heel of enterprise technology is always a sudden data loss. And with no or an outdated backup.

Advances in business technology are overpowering, especially for small entrepreneurs, as eCommerce does away almost daily with the old routines of merchandising products or services. Soon, old invoices, query letters, canceled 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 hard disks, the precaution of backing up the essential data becomes twofold and even three-way. It should be, in fact, standard practice, even for small biz.

BUDGET — Data vaults are everywhere. On the free small storage, side is Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud. Small storage is defined as less than 100GB per month. As an example, Dropbox offers at least 2GB, and iCloud provides 5GB. Google some 5GB, Sky Drive 7GB. As the business grows, these basic storage sizes are quickly eaten up,  

It is wise to begin setting up a data crisis budget and research the possibilities, cost-wise, and urgency factors. It would be best to have fast bandwidth connection and fast transfer protocols for big, bulky data. If you pay, the volumes rise to16TB, 100GB, 100GB, and 50GB in cloud vaults’ order. If a company losses vital data, the recovery process must be fast. All businesses need to resume operations quickly.

TRAFFIC — Since most small businesses depend on ADSL cable-type connection, a firm can move an upstream of data at 2.5Mbps which amounts to 800GB per month. It is advisable to push up data to the cloud, and it is better at the nighttime of our 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 fragments 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.

BACKUP — Meanwhile, always store appropriately labeled folders if your business operation has not yet caught up with the metaverse or the Internet of All Things. Avoid DVDs or CDs as much as you can and prefer external hard drives that you should disconnect and store safely. Never leave connected as they warm up and eventually seize. But studies suggest that backup tends to be a low priority for small enterprises. It is not uncommon for a mini firm to shut down after losing critical data because such an event is crippling for even any size company. So, it is key to back up and have a sound data recovery strategy for continuity and sustainability.

PLAN — The best master plan is to combine a hardware-based backup system with cloud storage. In the case of cloud backup, the downside is that recovered data must be then downloaded. This will be bandwidth-intensive and a slow, painstaking task. If not, the impresario must set up an in-house automated backup process to remove the risk of human error or lapse of memory. Backing up big data in the cloud comes at no cost, so it would be wise to search for the best alternative methods.

Keep the original data in a clean, safe place, always work at the office with copies, maintaining the original data untouched. Backing up protocols require that the original data be in two different areas, far from the other, whether a traditional shoebox or the cloud, in the office and at home. Not in a car.

Photo Credit: by Sean MacEntee

Author Details
Author Rafael Matos is a veteran journalist, a professor of digital narratives and university mentor. He may be contacted at cccrafael@gmail.com.

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