What You Should Know
||Even The Best Hard Drives Die. Do You Back Up?
Businesses of all sizes are witnessing an explosion
in the volume of data they hold. Whether it is the
result of the Internet, email, or increasingly heavy
and media-rich application software, there is a
massive growth in the volume of data all around.
Conservative estimates place data growth at
approximately 80% per year. Data is increasingly
being recognized as one of the real assets of a
company, and losing this data would cause severe
damage to any organization.
Data loss can be very
costly, particularly for organizations in the small
and medium business (SMB) market where the
difference between survival and closure can rest on
the ability to recover from a disaster. At the very
least, critical data loss will have a financial
impact on companies of all sizes:
re-create 20 MB
The financial impact on a
company is a combination of loss of business, low
productivity, legal action, and the cost of
re-creating data. A study showed that the cost of
re-creating just 20 MB of data can be extensive!
Your best solution, is an
external drive as a backup. You can have multiple
drives, and it is much easier restore from a
portable external drive, as opposed to CDs or DVDs.
Today's Backup Options
increasing hard drive sizes, how do you protect your
valuable data? CDs are only 720+ MBs, and even DVDs
are limited to a few Gigabytes. So what do you do to
back up hundreds of Gigabytes? Here are some great
and inexpensive options:
Capacity USB Thumb Drives:
Thumb Drives are now available in sizes as large
as 64GB (soon to be even more). While the USB
interface is somewhat slow, these make an ideal
solution for their small compact size. Thumb
drives are perfect for storing in files, or
other compact spaces. While their cost per GB
is somewhat high, their convenience, USB
interface, size, and extremely light weight,
make them a very attractive option.
Now you have a wide variety of options for
external hard drives. 1TB (Terabyte) External
Drives are now available for less than $200.00.
External drives come in a wide range of sizes,
speeds, and interfaces. They are available with
USB (the slowest), Firewire (medium speed), and
SATA/eSATA (the fastest).
When selecting an external drive, it is
important to consider how you will use the
drive, and the interface limitations of your
computer. If you have a laptop that only has
USB ports, this would be your best (possibly
only) option. If you have USB & Firewire, get a
drive that has Firewire for the performance
boost. If your system has a SATA or eSata port,
get a drive with this option - it will give you
true hard drive to hard drive performance.
However, also consider where you might need to
restore the data. USB is the most universal, in
that almost all systems have USB ports. If your
system dies, and you need to restore your data,
this may be your most important consideration.
One last consideration is to keep your backup
drive continuously connected, or only connect it
during backups. The general idea of backups is
to have a copy of your data in case your system
fails - which they do. But you may also want
secure protected backups in a safe or safe
deposit box. Regardless, external hard drives
offer an outstanding solution for backing up
your data, and the cost per GB is quite low.
- Hard Drive
incredibly simple, yet functional new product
category emerged in 2008: Hard Drive Toasters
(Hard Drive Docks). This device lets you plug
in regular internal hard drives as though they
were pop-in flash drives. You drop in your hard
drive, and the dock instantly gives your system
access to that drive, without wiring, or power
connections - it's all done by the hard drive
toaster. This way you can use any compatible
hard drive as an external removable hard drive
for backup purposes!
- don't forget
another option is to use an online backup
service. These come in two forms:
• Backup to another computer over the
• Backup to a central server using the
The first of these can work very well, and
automatically backups when you are online. The
Microsoft OneCare service is one example. It
can backup your data from your system to another
in your OneCare account across the Internet
automatically, regardless of where you are.
The second involves trusting your critical data
to someone else's servers, and usually no real
guarantee that your data will always be there.
If they loose your data, they just refund your
fee. This service may be fine for a couple of
letters, but business critical data needs to be
accessible forever. For this reason, you are
better advised to look to a hardware solution
that you control.
products come with backup software included,
such as External Hard Drives, and Antivirus
products like CA Security Suite. Most offer
excellent features for automated backups. But
remember, backup software and devices, are only
as good as your willingness to use them! So
backup regularly, and backup often.
If you have any specific questions, please do
not hesitate to