The Backup We Really Need

The most clever electronic card I got this year came from Vembu Technologies. They provide a backup service framework for service providers, and provide their own backup service to small businesses. Their card followed the backup idea, as you might think, but with a twist. They showed a file structure ready to restore, but instead of folders like “My Documents” there were folders like Economy 2006, GDP, Housing Prices, and My Investments with Bernie Madoff. You know, the things we really wish we could back up.

Unfortunately, this was humor, not reality. No backup vendor can, with a few mouse clicks, restore your 401k account to what it was this time last year. What a shame.

Of course, this should make us all grateful and determined to back up what we can back up, which means protecting our data files. Backup may be the best problem prevention tool we have, and the cost is pennies per problem avoided.

In the spirit of New Year's Resolutions, go right now and upgrade your backup system. For a complete backup, files must be stored locally for quick recovery, and remotely for disaster recovery. I know handy USB drives do a great job of backup, but they do not provide remote backup capabilities. Even worse, when you really need your backup because your computer is stolen or something happens to it, the USB drive connected to your computer suffers the same fate and is no longer useful.

This problem applies even more strongly to those who carry a small USB drive for laptop backups in their laptop bag. When you lose your laptop bag, or it gets stolen, your backup goes away at the same time.

Resolve to plan better. Remember, all you can lose are all your files. No files means no business, so resolve to backup better starting today.

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