Posted on: Tuesday June 10th, 2014

Author: Ronnie Baskind

Take a backup!

It’s only a matter of time.

Tomorrow morning, when you sit down at your desk, pick up the phone and call your IT guy. Not Kilimanjaro, but the IT guy responsible for your backups. Here’s what you should say to him:

“Dan, our server was destroyed in a fire last night. I need you to get our EXO system up and running again as soon as possible. What do you need from me?”

The most likely response will be “I need your last backup”. Hopefully, when asked, you will be able to say “Sure, I have it at home. I took it offsite last night. What else do you need?”

You may be surprised at the answer. Possibly, the list will include a new server, the original copies of your MS Windows software and the licence codes for all software that was installed on the server. If you are backing up to tape, the request may include a tape backup device that can read that backup tape you have at home (the old device also got destroyed in the fire, remember?).

“How long will this all take?” you may ask Dan.

“ Well, let me see if we can get a server from my supplier, and once we have that, I probably need about 3 days to rebuild the server and restore the data”, says Dan.

This would not be good news under any circumstances. At about this time, you realise that you need to have a disaster recovery plan in place for exactly this occurrence.

‘Dan, I am pleased to be able to tell you that this was just a ‘fire drill’ . Everything is fine, but I need you to put a disaster recovery plan in place. I can’t afford to stop trading for 3 days”

Systems failure

Let’s imagine the same scenario as above, but when Dan asks you for the last backup, you say “But Dan, I thought that was your responsibility”. Or “I did make a backup in March, but I don’t know where it is”

The simple act of making a backup (or not) could cost you your business.

An easier way

End of financial year is an excellent time to take an extra backup. This is not your normal daily or weekly backup. This one will be labelled and archived as “End of Financial Year 2014”.

Take the backup before you roll the end of financial year. This means that if, for example, come September, your accountant asks you for a retrospective report, you can print this from your backup.

 Also see our previous article on backups here.