Monday, October 11, 2010

IBackUp, do You?

How often do you back up your personal data at home? In the world of professional IT this is a fundamental which causes tremendous grief when overlooked. It always seems that disaster strikes when we miss performing this critical function. What's even more troubling is that as IT professionals, as soon as we walk through the doors at home, we do not apply the same principles in our personal life, which left me wondering what is going on in the lives of ordinary citizens the world over who are entrusting more of their data to the digital age.
Many years ago, when I went to the PC builder to buy a whitebox solution, he had asked me how much memory I thought I would need, to which my answer was the most available, roughly twenty gigabytes. This reminds me of the old Bill Gates quote, "640K ought to be enough for anybody," because the system builder mentioned, "20 gigabytes? That's too big a hard drive!" That was 1998 when 20 gigabytes seemed like overkill. We no longer speak of gigabytes with the same awe, now it is terabytes and petabytes.
Now we are on the cusp of a revolution in digital technology! Where we once had hard copy CD's, DVD's, photos, books and documents, we are now moving to delivery and storage of these same items digitally. The time is fast approaching where if a brick and mortar record store exists, it will exist for one of two reasons: A) to sell antiques; or more likely B) to download content. What is even more likely, is that we will simply download the content from the comfort of our homes.
This brings up a few issues. Old media such as CD's, VHS tapes, and DVD's will eventually either need to be converted to digital or be reacquired in a digital format. The other issue is that digital productions are not absolute. At some point backing up and storing our digital content securely from our homes will be a driving concern for us ordinary folks.
With old media, we rarely ever made copies because we never expected the house to burn down, if it did, it hurt to lose a collection lovingly established and enjoyed over the years, but that was just bad luck. Now, we have hard drive failures which is a lot more common than a burning house.
When it comes to the new age of digital content, we have our main source of storage, and some smart people keep a secondary source such as an external hard drive to mitigate against a drive failure. We may not have a completely up to date backup on the external equipment but at least we do not lose everything.
This still leaves the problem of disaster. In the case of a disaster, your digital data is at a high risk. Your now terabytes of data which you may have spent thousands of dollars on can be lost in the blink of an eye. My suggested solution is to look towards a cloud (online) backup solution for anything critical. This solves two issues, backup and disaster recovery. It does so, by backing up to a location not anywhere near your immediate vicinity. If you have a disaster at home, once you are able to log into a computer anywhere, you can retrieve your information, which means your music, movie, photos, and literature libraries are safe.
There are a few companies leading the way in online backup platforms, such as iBackUp. Do yourself the favor and make sure you backup. If you do backup, start to consider a disaster recovery solution appropriate to your means and your budget. If you can afford to, make your backup solution your disaster recovery solution.

Online Backup

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