Offsite BackUps

Remembering to do backups is impossible. There are a ton of options and everyone has a different system. Let’s simplify the process.

Decide what data is crucial. If you have if a file or files that run your business, this data is crucial to your success! This includes any accounting files (QuickBooks, MoneyWorks, etc.), Database Files (FileMaker, Access, Sage, MySQL, etc.), Web Based Files, and possibly contact or calendar data.

All or most of this data should be backed up daily. Think of it in these terms, “If I were to lose any or part of my data, where would my business be...”. How much lost time and money would be incurred in tracking down and/or reproducing lost/damaged data.

So thats easy, you know what you need. Now, what do you do with it. You should backup your data on an external drive or server that is separate from where any of the data is stored. Essentially a machine or drive that does not host these live files. You can do this with a number of backup utilities. Retrospect is the most common, but is also not always very user friendly. There are a number of other options out there including some very simple/inexpensive backup programs.

Hopefully you didn’t stop reading there, because this next step is the important part. Do an offsite backup! Let me repeat, do an offsite backup! These options are everywhere, and the reason they are everywhere, is that the streets are littered with poor souls who have not headed this advise. It nearly never happens, but when it does it can send a company back to the dark ages. Imagine that your company is robbed and the thieves take every computer in your store, or worse your entire operation is burned to the ground. Either instance is enough to ruin your week, but if you have an offsite copy of your data, at least you can resume business nearly where you left off.

The cloud is here, so take advantage. There are a myriad of options for you to choose from. I prefer DropBox for a number of reasons: its easy, you can share files with your colleagues, and it’s relatively inexpensive (Free under 2 GB’s). Since it mounts files directly on your local machine, you can set-up the backup to run in conjunction with that local network backup I mentioned earlier in the article. You could even do away with the local network backup altogether if you like.

Its easy to get lost in all of the options, and each business model requires somewhat of a unique set-up. I would love to help, lets get started on a backup plan today.

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