Backups, I’m ok aren’t I?

Too many times I see friends and customers lose their work, photos, music and movies (legal cough) because they didn’t have a proper backup plan, I’m going to touch on this topic and hopefully I’ll provide a bit of an eye opener to everyone who hasn’t already implemented a good backup solution.

Here at Crucial we take this threat seriously and we have too, our business and more importantly our customers depend on us to run 24×7!

What we do here at Crucial

In the Crucialplex (office):

Firstly we all run RAID 1 or 10 (in Aaron’s case, greedy I know) on our office PC’s giving us the ability to keep working in the event of drive failure, we run nightly backups to a central backup server which in turn is backed up weekly to a separate portable drive and when full is taken off-site and stored securely in our data centre.

Critical Business Applications:

I’ll note that all our critical business applications (what we need to run the business) are web based so if need be we can all work from any location in the world with only a laptop, and an internet connection. The ability to work on this level requires an almost bullet-proof backup solution so we have in place a multi level backup solution integrating RAID, Backup Drives, NFS and off-site backup.

  • RAID 10 on critical business servers
  • Backup drive in critical business servers
  • Daily, weekly, monthly backup to backup drive
  • Daily, weekly, monthly backup to NFS
  • Daily, weekly, monthly off-site backup (New York)

Now i know what most of you are thinking, this would be overkill for your business but what I’d like you to do is take a second look at what you have in place and consider if it’s sufficient, are all your critical applications and data backed up? Do you have copies of your website? Where are they stored? When was the last time you took a backup?

The RAID myth

There is the myth that RAID is sufficient for backups, while it is a good layer of defence the reality is that it’s just not enough for business applications. At Crucial we run RAID 10 across our servers (VPS, Shared, Reseller) and with this configuration each sever can tolerate up to 2 drives failures but there are still situations where things can go wrong and to name a few… RAID card failure, multiple drives failure in an array, the array developing a bad stripe, firmware issues on the drives and the list goes on….. We offer backup solutions on our VPS plans which are a good second level of defence against data loss but its always good practice to ensure that you have your data also backed up remotely either at a remote location such as home.

We are also currently looking at other backup solutions for our customers and more information will be released as development winds up.

In closing consider what would happen if you lost your data then look at your current backup solution, is it sufficient and if not what can you do to improve it. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to backups but there are steps that you can take to protect yourself.