December 4, 2010

A Disaster Recovery Plan is Critical Insurance

[this post comes from GTA Nerd Anthony Berot]


Last week, I spoke about backing up your data and not relying on the popular flash drive. I would like to emphasize this message again. The flash drive is great for transporting files, but don’t depend on it as a long or even medium-term backup.  Someone called me last week because they opened a flash drive and months of work stored on it disappeared. Fortunately I was able to recover 80% of the data using a recovery program. However there are times when we have to go the next step and send it to a data recovery house, which could cost $800.00 or more. There is no guarantee that it all could be retrieved. This is a reality folks.
A disaster recovery plan is critical insurance; it will give you peace of mind knowing that you can recover all your data. The right plan will protect you against any predictable and un-predictable dangers. However it must be in place when all is well and maintained. Your best approach is to get the experts to implement one for you.
Disasters can happen anywhere, anytime. The most vulnerable is the hard drive where the data is stored, and the most irreplaceable data needs to be protected. Incidents like floods, moving the computer when the disk drives are hot and running, power surges, theft or simply age can cause a hard drive to fail, and when this happens, you must have a plan in place to recover the data that will be on it.
A good plan will include protection against these elements and good practices like installing an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to protect against power outages and surges. Don’t move your computer until the drive stops spinning. Remember the record player? Hard drives operate the same way.
To protect your software purchases, store the original CDs in a safe place. If you purchase a new computer, you may not receive recovery CDs, and you will have to make them yourself. Take the time to make these CDs and store them safely. You must also make new ones every 6 months before disaster strikes. This is important as your operating systems and applications for the MAC and PC will be updated weekly, and you don’t want to be caught recovering from two year old CDs.
In a MAC system, the included Time machine software will automatically backup the entire system to the recommended backup drive – the Time Capsule, as well as any Network Attached Storage device. Invest in a Time Capsule, for this device is the best value for your money. It is a router, a backup drive and a Wi-Fi (wireless) access point in one device.
Windows 7 also includes backup software. However you can only save your backups on a network location with Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, and Windows 7 Enterprise.
Backing up an image of your drive will protect your computer configuration, drivers and data. The image can be used if you ever decide to move from a PC to MAC based system, but there are some special conditions to consider in this case, so you will need an expert for this action.
Do you own or operate a business? If so, please note that you can take advantage of the 100% Capital Cost Allowance business expense write-off benefit offered by the federal government.  The program ends February 1st, 2011 so you only have about 1 month remaining in this calendar year and next… Now is a good time to invest in technology for your business.
In the next article I will talk about a very important topic – “Security”. Stay tuned and remember that you can email your questions to [email protected].

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