The Need for a Backup Strategy, Part 2 of 4
By Kevin J. Vella, Uniblue Systems
So you’ve decided to backup your data but what is the next step? You must
have a backup strategy irrespective of whether you are a home user or a
business user. The depth of the strategy is the only variant between these
two types of users.
As time goes by people and businesses are facing massive and
ever-increasing amounts of data that are difficult to manage and that
remain unprotected. In this light, the need for a backup strategy becomes
critical. Let me just take email as an example: the 12/2004 issue of Smart
Computing reports that 88% of adult PC users send and receive emails. The
International Data Corporation reports that 16.8 trillion emails were
transmitted in 2004 with this figure climbing to 19.7 trillion this year.
According to Smart Computing, American businesses send about 9 billion
emails a day. On average, home-users transmit around 435kb in email
attachments every day. One other research firm estimates that typical
corporations with 5000 employees accumulate 4 terabytes of emails every
year. The size of my Outlook PST file for 2004 at work rested at 1.4Gb; at
home it was 650Mb! And finally, Dataquest estimates that the total number
of hard disk drives shipped in 2002 rests at 212.5m units representing
around 8.5m terabytes of storage space.
Home-user data includes documents, audio and video files, scanned images,
and digital photos. Businesses have marketing collateral developed and
stored electronically, customer information stacked in databases,
financial records posted in accounting packages, budgets and business
plans recorded on network storage devices. As this list grows, the need
for a backup strategy becomes even more obvious!
We usually advise customers to look at 5 key elements of any backup
Invest in good Backup Software: Read the reviews, visit the websites and
look out for features and assurances that the product you are buying is
reliable, fast and easy to use. Spend time reading the websites of the
various suppliers. Some products cost no more than $40 but your data costs
much more. Losing your data because the software you have bought is not
effective means that you have thrown away an extra $40!
Plan Your Backups: Most software packages on the market have schedulers.
Use these schedulers. It doesn’t take much time to set up a timetable for
backups. Depending on how many times you use your PC you can schedule your
periodical backups: at work, I backup every day at 9 a.m.. At home, I
backup once a week.
Check the Integrity of your Restore: Even though you have backed up, what
guarantee do you have that your data can be restored when disaster hits?
The best way to ensure full “restorability” of your data is to buy a
backup product that has bit-level verification (like WinBackup 2.0). Such
a feature makes sure that while the product is performing your backup it
checks all the data down to the level of bits and bytes. In essence, the
software first backs up the data and then automatically performs a test
restore to make sure that every single bit has been copied.
Check the Integrity of your Backup Medium: You can have the best software
in the world and back your data every hour, however, if you do not have a
good medium to store your archives, you are doomed. The second best way to
ensure the restorability of your data is to choose good mediums and to do
regular test restores from them.
Check your hard drives regularly and make sure you have good anti-spyware
and anti-virus software. There is no harm in checking hard drives for
errors and bad sectors as these drives do fail over time.
Coming Up: The release of WinBackup 2.0!
Read Part 1 : Part 2 :
Part 3 :
Software by Uniblue:
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Turbo charge your PC and monitor CPU, memory, and Internet usage in
real-time. Buy the utility pack and save money!