March 31st 2013 WAS World Backup Day. Hands up if you knew that and keep your hand up if you did anything about it. I thought not!!!! It is quite scary that we need to have a day specifically for this simply because most people and companies do not have sufficient backup policies in place.
More and more we put data onto our devices, laptops, dekstops, mobile phones, servers, external hard drives, thumb drives and even the cloud. Files from important company orders and financial documents to photos and videos of our kids. How this impacts should you lose this data depends on what the data is. For instance if you lose all your personal and family photos you are likely to get into an awful lot of trouble with your spouse but long term you will most likely still be married… at least losing the photos will not likely be the cause of the divorce. However if you lose all your company orders, client database, financial documents the chances are without any backup your business stands a good chance of failing. You are statistically unlikely to last 2 years…. If that is not enough to scare you into doing something then please stop reading now and go and bury your head in the sand….
More and more people are moving data to the cloud. Whilst these cloud solutions provide a great and cost effective service nearly all of them have no guarantee of data integrity and you would be hard pushed to find one that actively backups your data. To date we have not yet seen one of these large cloud providers go bankrupt and hence we have not seen the aftermath of millions of people losing access to their critical data. This will happen at some point for sure. If you are in the cloud in any way then you have to have a backup of that data.
Interestingly almost no-one considers a need to backup their website. This can be tragic as unless you pay extra for the service nearly all hosting companies do NOT backup your website. Not only is there all the static pages and graphics for your website but if you have a database backend then there is all the data records as well. A good backup strategy has to include backing up the website.
What is backing up? Basically, it’s making copies of all the important information that you have to ensure that it won’t ever be lost or damaged. It’s not as hard as it sounds – in fact, it’s really simple!
Let me make this very simple for you to put into perspective. Everything will fail. It is never a case of if it is always a case of when. It may not be next week, next month or even next year but without a doubt 100% of all computers will fail at some point in time. All that is unsure is whether, when it fails you lose all your Data or not.
Let us look statistically how likely you are to encounter a computer failure in your company in the next 12. 6% of all PCs will suffer an episode of data loss in any given year. (The Cost Of Lost Data, David M. Smith). That means that if you have 17 computers in your office 1 of them is likely to suffer some sort of data loss within the next 12 months. OK maybe all your company data is on the servers in your office but that statistic still remains. 60 million computers will fail worldwide in 2013. Stats like these make the fact that only 1 in 4 people backup their data regularly even more scary. But it is not just our laptops and desktops, 113 mobile phones are lost or stolen in the United States every minute.
Also lets say you are a good boy(girl) and you regularly do backups or all your data on tape as most companies do. Well when was the last time you actually tested the backup and performed a restore. Statistically 1 in 10 tape backups fail to restore. That’s 10% and if that is your sole source of backup data then there should be alarm bells ringing.
I could continue with the stats but I hope the above is enough to push you to action. Fundamentally you need to ensure you have a good backup strategy and to ensure you regularly test to ensure you can restore. If you need help in either of these and you are based in Hong Kong or Singapore then please call me, Phil at +852 6177 0800 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org