Looking (Back Up)

I was just going through my Mozy.com Backup Settings making sure that it is backing up all of my important files. During that process, I came across some old code and documents I had written for Kepner-Tregoe way back in the 90’s. It was kind of nostalgic. Hard to believe that something I created helped run the business, and in many cases those same applications are still in use today.  

What was really weird was coming to the realization that I will never see or touch those application again.  For a couple that I did way way way back, it just didn’t seem right that I wouldn’t be able to look back on that app another 20 years from now and actually see it running first hand. I could say to my son “hey, you’re Dad created this 30+ years ago”, not that he’d probably care anyway. Oh well. Maybe I can get someone at KT to send me a framed picture of AIMS or DeliveryForce. In fact, I could autograph the picture and send it back to them to hang in MIS. Ok, just getting silly now.

So,  my point here is to talk about backing things up.  Everyone knows backup is critical. Whether you’re talking about backing up your personal files, such as family pictures, music, your kids homework; or backing up your critical small business files.  Making copies of your files to another location isn’t good enough when it comes to important data. For my money, there are two critical factors to consider when implementing a small business backup solution:

  1. Offsite Protection. Backing up files to an external HD, a Flash Card, or to another computer is a good start and it can protect against a system failure. However, what happens if your computer is stolen or if your home/office suffers a major catastrophe (e.g., fire or flood)?
  2. Version Control. Having a backup from last night of a file you accidentally corrupted last week doesn’t help one bit. You need to be able to go back in time to before you accidentally changed the content.

To address the two above concerns, look at one of the many online backup solutions such as Mozy or Carbonite. Both systems have an agent that backs up your files to a remote server. I personally use Mozy.com and have over 115GB of data backed up from my home computer(s). This includes all of my Family Pictures, Movie Files, MP3’s, Office Documents, eMail, Browser Favorites, etc. Pretty much anything that I would want to save if my computer disappeared tomorrow I have backed up via Mozy. Though I pay $60/year for unlimited backup space, Mozy.com also offers a free version up to 2GB of data. If all you are worried about is a handful of documents which are probably well under 2GB in size, then the free version is all you need. Either way, at $60/year for unlimited backup it’s well worth the price to save your family pictures now that everyone has a digital camera. 

My next task: somehow scan the thousands of pictures I have from before 1998.