New Backup strategy
In the past MTC MadTECH Computers has used SOS Cloud storage for the offsite storage of client’s critical data. In layman’s terms, offsite storage of your company’s critical data means there is a copy of that data stored away from your physical business address. This is to make sure there is a safe copy of the data in another location. This is to combat fire, theft or any other disaster that may occur.
In trying to come up with ways to improve MadTECH Computers service, I have decided to do the backups a new way. What I am proposing is a weekly/fortnightly site visit of the backup clients. I will replace the onsite backup drive with a new drive. While onsite, I can also check with staff / I.T point of contact and see if there is any outstanding IT issues.
What I am finding, with the remote support I provide, while it is handy and quick and convenient, I am missing out on the “touching base” component. It is a lot better dealing with people face to face. At the moment it may be weeks before I go onsite to visit clients, even though we may speak daily over the phone. This will pause over the Commonwealth Games Gold Coast 2018, but only while there is transport issues and road closures. The backups will still occur regardless, as will the testing and reporting.
There will be a fireproof safe installed at the MadTECH workshop. We have CCTV cameras there, as well as sensor alarms and sensor lights also. All second drives will be kept in the fire proof safe whilst not being used.
An improvement on the existing service is that we will now offer more storage space. Instead of just backing up the critical folders, which requires updates from your staff about what is and isn’t critical, we will back up the entire data set. I can also touch base with staff, and confirm they are saving company data to network drives. The entire server will be backed up to the external drive, which will be swapped so there is offsite storage of all company data in a secure location.
If there is staff that require storing data to individual machines, we can cater for this easily. For example, say Mr. Johns the Director has to save all his work to the desktop of his laptop, when we do the site visit, we swap the external hard drive on the server, and then visit Mr. Johns desk and backup all of his data on the laptop as well.
Once the drives are swapped, we then either work on the server onsite, or remotely. We then browse the backup set on the backup drive and test the backups to make sure they are all intact.
We will keep the backup costs the same for now, and trial it and see how it goes. There will be a cost for new hard drives, which will be minimal. It is important to get good external drives that are both the same. That way we can leave the power pack at the network cabinet, and unplug one drive, and plug in the new one. I’m probably going with LaCie Rugged drives and will send out quotes for these this week, so please check and approve when happy, and we will invoice and order on receipt of remittance (same for all hardware purchases). See end of this post for LaCie Rugged Specifications and review.
For those clients that already have an external drive, we will need to add a second drive so we may rotate the drives for offsite storage.
Another advantage of this new backup strategy is that the backups will be a lot faster. With the slow internet issues a lot of you are experiencing in Australia, it was always a pain for us logging onto the server and starting the upload of the backup at 5pm, and pausing again at 7am. The backup software does have a schedule function but especially with the Mac version it was unreliable and manually working the program was the only way for it to work.
With the new backups, there will be no bandwidth hogging of the backups being uploaded to cloud storage. This will help with the internet speed. All backups were scheduled for running outside business hours, but now with no uploading, it will help reduce internet download limits, which may help reduce your costs.
There are clients that are using cloud storage for company data. This may be with Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive. Users must beware of the syncing of data across devices. Some users in the past have removed data from their local Google Drive folder on their PC, and it has been removed from their cloud account also.
Another problem with Google drive is when the data is linked to an account which is then closed before transfer to another account user. I think Google can recover data from a closed account up to 30 days only.
Another threat is ransomware, which encrypts data on PC’s AND external hard drives, and smart ransomware can encrypt data on cloud storage too. Cloud storage is not a magical bulletproof solution to ransomware. Crypto locker can infect Google drive. If files on a computer are infected by ransomware, they will synch to Google Drive and corrupt both versions. It can then spread to all shared files and folders.
For all the reasons above MTC MadTECH Computers recommends backing up company data stored on cloud storage as well.
LaCie Rugged Review and pricing:
The reason we recommend LaCie Rugged Storage for external Drive is that the drives are shockproof, drop resistant, rain and pressure resistant. It can be run over by a one-ton car and still work.
The connections available with the LaCie are USB 3.0, backwards compatible with USB 2.0.
There is an automatic backup function available for PC and MAC also.
It is powered via USB also so there is no need for external power packs.
Manufacturer’s warranty is 1 year.
The 1TB LaCie is $144 including GST.