The Ur-Guru and I have just returned from a week of Extreme Tourism in Chicago. He took 28 GB of photos. Each night he copied them all from his camera’s 8 GB Compact Flash card onto the two portable hard drives he’d brought along. (One serves as the original, one as the backup, and then he clears off card so he can take more pictures.)
We also fixed my father’s wireless router, so there’s wi-fi in his 45th-floor apartment again, but I had to use webmail for outgoing messages because RCN (Dad’s cable Internet provider) appears to block any outgoing traffic from non-RCN senders.
Anyway, I’m back home with another guest post for you, this one from Ken Colburn of Data Doctors.
Data Disasters: did you forget your mobile workforce?
A hard drive crashes every 15 seconds…
2,000 laptops are stolen or lost every day…
1 in 5 computers suffers a fatal hard drive crash during their lifetime…
31% of PC users have lost all of their files due to events beyond their control…
60% of companies that lose all their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster…
The overall average failure rate of disk drives is 100% – all drives eventually fail…
And another hard drive just crashed while you were reading this.
Will one of yours be next? Are you prepared?
If you ask your IT department, they will assure you that the primary servers are being backed up every day and that an off-site data storage component is in place, so no matter what happens, the company is covered.
What most IT departments fail to recognize is that as much as 60% of a company’s mission critical data resides on hard drives that are not being backed up.
Your mobiles sales team, your CEO’s laptop, remote users or offices; the list can go on.
The assumption by the IT staff that all the users are following the company policy for backing up critical data is generally flawed.
In reality, getting 100% compliance from all users is virtually impossible because of a single hurdle; human nature. Everyone knows that a hard drive could fail at any moment, but no one thinks it’s going to happen to them, so they will do it tomorrow.
In providing data recovery services for over a decade, a pattern has emerged as more companies rely on computers; critical data is being lost on a regular basis.
The proliferation of the laptop computer as well as the increase in remote workers and even the digital camera (of all things) are primary drivers.
I regularly run into mobile salespeople throughout the country and in every discussion I hear the same thing: “I would be totally screwed if my laptop crashed or got stolen” and it’s usually followed by “my IT guys just don’t understand”.
Digital cameras have also increased the need for data recovery because digital images are not thought of as “data”… until they are gone! We routinely see a drive in for data recovery that has thousands of mission critical images on it that no one thought to backup or were so large that they did not fit into traditional backup procedures.
Even with the realization that their future is in jeopardy, statistically only 1 in 4 users will regularly back up their files. Why? It’s generally too technical or time consuming.
Another common mistake that some IT departments make is assume that if the critical data is being backed up and we can replace a laptop with an image of the corporate software, we have everything covered.
We routinely see customers pleading for help because they installed a special program that only they needed and no one took this into consideration during their disaster planning.
In a perfect IT world, everyone is using the exact same software on every remote or mobile system, but the reality for most is that no two computers are exactly the same.
Some of the biggest offenders of not following the IT department standards are upper management and they often times have some of the most mission critical data on their systems.
100% of all Data Loss is PREVENTABLE!
There are a number of personal backup solutions that IT departments should consider implementing as an additional layer for their mobile workforce.
We have been working with folks on backup procedures for long enough to understand some of the biggest roadblocks…users don’t know how to backup and even if they do, they don’t have any idea where on the hard drive this data resides, much less taking the time to actually do it.
The best chances for success and a huge time saver for the IT department for when (not if) a hard drive crashes is an automatic whole drive imaging system. (The expense of one data recovery will usually pay for 4 or 5 personal backup systems.)
If you can reduce the point of failure down to “can I get my users to plug this device in” your chances of success are much higher.
By eliminating all of the technical aspects of the backup process you can expect non-technical mobile and remote users to be much more successful in protecting themselves.
One solution is to install an automated imaging program that automatically fires whenever the external backup device is plugged in and/or setting a scheduler to automatically backup (and pester the user when it has not been done) to an external device.
Another great option for field personnel is an automated Internet based backup service. Once the client software is installed, it can automatically push copies of critical data up to a secured Internet server and be setup to pester users whenever it does not occur.
The bottom line on covering your bases is to really cover all your bases, so don’t forget your mobile and remote users!
External backup solution:
Online backup solution for businesses (Free 30-day trial): http://www.rdbup.com/partner/?id=datadrs
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