Keeping the Memories Alive and Backed Up : Data Disaster Recovery Plan

My wife’s grandmother is the keeper of the family history.  Every family has one.  She and my wife have been spending a day a week scanning ancient photo albums, tagging ancestors with names before they are forgotten to the annals of time.  Much to my surprise, before I could even broach the subject, she asked me about the best way to preserve and backup this growing warehouse of data.

Being busy with holidays and end of year consulting with my clients, I hadn’t had time to discuss it with them.  Sometimes we forget that customers are a lot closer to home than we realize.

Her initial thought was typical.  If she could get an external hard drive and make a copy of the data, it would be protected in case something happened to her computer.  I’ve worked with enough residential customers to know one thing.  If the backup plan requires daily or even weekly intervention on behalf of the user, it typically doesn’t get done.

I talked to her about the goal of a solid backup.  The number one goal we can all agree with is the survival of the important data in case of a disaster.  They key people forget is that we should be talking about the survival of the data in case of ANY disaster.  That threw her for a loop at first.  If the computer crashes, the backup will still be there.  Then the discussion turned dark.  My fault, but that’s my job as a consultant.

The ‘What if?’ Factor

What if the house burns down?

What if there’s a flood?

What if a tornado scatters everything to the four winds?

That’s when the subject of offsite backup comes up.  To reach the goal of a solid backup, the data has to be able to survive more than just a computer crash.  Backing up to the cloud with an online backup system ensures this.  By storing your data in an offsite location, usually geographically distant, you are extending the zone of safety around your information.

We eventually set her machine up with an online backup service and now her data is safely stored hundreds of miles from its source.  After the initial backup completed, the only data being transferred each week are the new photos they’ve scanned and any changes to the tags they made that week.  It is simple and painless and hasn’t affected their lives at all, other than the peace of mind that their hard work will do its job; keeping those memories alive forever.

— The Backup Master

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