Many of us walk away from our computers in the evening and simply expect them to work for us in the morning when we walk back in. Most of the time we can be confident that this will be the case. However, there will inevitably be a day where we walk into our office, and see that our often beloved and sometimes hated tool of our profession is useful as nothing more than a glorified paperweight.
This can mean many different things to different people. To some people, it’s not a big deal. I mean we have back-ups of all of our pertinent information right? So just go out, buy a computer, hook it up and start the process of getting your business back off the ground. Hunt down those product disks and activation keys, install your different software choices, do your windows updates and……wait what time is it? Oh! A whole day is already gone and we haven’t even gotten to the point of actually handling the business that we are supposed to handle for the day. There must be a better way.
Well, I have good news! There is a better way. Just feel free to call your local IT professional, and they can help you with a back up program. I don’t mean a software program, but an actual system that handles cloning your drives and the information stored therein. Hard drive and system failure is an area that IT professionals have spent years banging their heads against various walls trying to prevent and create fixes that can be easily implemented. And the good news here is that there are now a myriad of solutions that can be utilized to prevent and fix these issues.
One way is to use a RAID setup on the hard drives on your computer. This is a preferred method among many industry professionals. RAID arrays can accomplish many different tasks like boosting performance to making multiple drives appear and act like one single drive. RAID 5 uses no less than three different hard drives and allows one hard drive to fail without losing your information. Another benefit to RAID 5 is that your system will continue to run, albeit a little less nominally, but run nonetheless until you replace the drive and rebuild the array. RAID arrays can now be utilized on desktops through servers and there are a select few laptops capable of holding two drives that can be used to mirror each other. Mirroring is the act of copying the same information on both hard drives so you have direct redundancy.
Another often-utilized concept is off-site cloning of your computer’s drive. The benefits of this are two-fold. One, your IT professional now has an exact copy of what is on your computer. And two, the information is stored in a place other than your office. This is imperative for any company that houses information on their system that they simply cannot lose. The big idea here is disaster recovery. Lets say that Godzilla decides to tear through downtown. In his wrath, he kicks open your front door and tears his way through your office. I know that it’s a bit of an extreme analogy, (a flood or theft is more likely) but your computer could end up on top of someone’s house and they are unlikely to plug it in and try to contact you. Having your information off-site can inspire confidence that you can still work even if some external force affects your computer.
Finally, a clone is not simply a back up of your information, but an actual direct copy of your hard drive. A clone takes your down time from one to three days to simply a few hours. It not only stores that ever-important information, but also stores the software and settings that you take the time to create and set-up. Cloning and backing up pays for itself in both man-hours and in the reduction of lost information. If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to email us and we can provide more information about this ever-present issue. Are you worried that your information could be lost? Then stop worrying and start your own back-up system.
Tip of the Week
If you cant afford a fancy RAID array or a off-site backup try going to your local computer store and buying a external hard drive. Most major external HD's come with a free backup software. Some backup is better then none. This solution is easy to do and really cheap!