Let us look at backup and if and when we do it and is it as relevant today as it was in the past.
In the past when computers were stand alone on the home and a small workgroup in offices there was a need to back up all your precious important files. If the computer died then you lost all your important hard produced data. So not backing up was the worst thing that could happen. Ah, the conversations I have had over the years with regard to backing up and what should I back up and, “OH NO I DIDN’T BACK UP ANYTHING”.
Is it still as important to run that backup and what should we back up and what should we back it up to?
Due to technological developments and changes in the way we work with the computers we use backup has developed and changed as well. The biggest computer a lot of us use now is our mobile phone or laptop and we use them everywhere. When one of them dies we feel that our right arm has been ripped off.
The question we have to ask ourselves is where is the data we are working on and where should it be?
When mobile working it is best to have the data on a cloud or an accessible storage, then as long as you can connect to this storage you can work away and save it as you go. You can then proceed to drop your phone or laptop and let it get run over by that bus. (I am of course not suggesting this course of action.) All data will be safe and backed up and accessible instantly when at another device.
Let’s look at today’s devices one at a time.
We will start at the office, let’s look at what we have there.
- Desktop machine or Laptop docked
- We use this whilst at the office and it does everything for us. Has office apps to perform all the editing and email to allow communication. Skype to have those meetings. How much do we save to this machine? If it died could we recover quickly? Well it should have the operating system and all the apps we use on it and we should have access to replace them if need be. So they are no great loss. As for important files and data, that should be worked on and saved to a server either onsite or in the cloud. NEVER to the local machine. Yes, hold your head down as people are still saving to the local machine and still crying out the phrase, “I haven’t baked it up”. Why?
- Laptop out and about
- As per the office scenario, this will have the OS and all the apps we need and maybe a copy of some data on it, as we are out and about. But the main data should be on a medium that is accessible from your laptop anywhere. A cloud drive or other accessible storage medium. Nothing should be on the laptop and you should not be depending on that. Laptops can be damaged and stolen easily or left on a bus or in a taxi.
- Mobile Phones
- These have become a way of doing loads of work, generally very quickly and making our responses faster. Which helps our clients and keeps us apprised of what is happening. They have various operating systems, mostly Android and IOS. These allow to download apps and let us edit and look at documents. Again mostly from remote sources and we don’t store them on the device itself. Even email should be set up as IMTP and not Pop 3 which leaves the emails on the server. With most of these devices when you change your phone or it has an accident and you have to replace it. You can log into your account and re-establish the phone as it was before. Losing nothing.
- Tablet devices
- These operate very much like a phone or laptop and again data is remote and accessed from them and then saved again.
So where does this leave our back up question?
As you can glean from the earlier part of this article the data is stored on a remote device from our working machines and is usually automatically backed up for us. This can be done in various ways. Cloud drives have been the way that the main companies are pushing their clients. (E.g. one drive, google drive, Dropbox, and many, many more.)
It can also be handled in-house with the use of NAS box scenarios and we have installed a few of these. The data is then in-house on your network but can be accessed remotely through a secure connection if needed. The NAS storage solution can then have hardware backup on board and also back up to a cloud storage overnight when no one is using it. Best of both worlds. Larger organisations still have in-house server banks and the data is backed up again usually offsite to a cloud or other server bank to create a copy of everything.
So how do you operate and what gets your backup?
Get in touch with our contact form and we can carry out a Needs survey and let you know what you could be doing, or even if you are doing it right already. Always good to know.