Backups – they’re not just for mission critical

17 Jul


How does your business define what data is backed up?  If you’re not backing up everything, you may be costing the company more than you think.

In the many years I’ve been in IT I have seen almost every scenario there is when it comes to backing up your data.  What continues to amaze me is the fact that with how accessible and cheap storage has become there are still companies out there that are only backing up their mission critical data and forget about other departments and data.

What business managers continue to forget are the numerous man hours that have gone into developing their test/dev environments, regression stacks, and other non-critical data.  While true that the business could continue to thrive in the event of a serious disaster, at what costs?  What is the labor cost that would need to occur to re-build?  Is the extra storage more expensive than having your engineers re-invent the wheel? 

I have had this conversation with all to many customers after this realization was made too late.  Hundreds of hours of labor were lost because the environments were not seen as business critical until the after-effects were felt by the business.

This, I have found, is not an issue with small vs. large companies.  One of my job responsibilities when I was an intern (long, long ago!) was to MANUALLY backup the department’s  regression buckets weekly.  Looking back at this awesome responsibility I am amazed that the business: one – didn’t have an automated system and two – entrusted this role to an intern who at the time didn’t realize the importance of backups.  What would have happen if I forgot to hit the “start” button Friday afternoon and the servers needed to be restarted? 

In a recent study by Pepperdine University, the average cost to a business where total data loss occured averaged around $20,577 versus just $557 if the data had been backed up and is easily recoverable and this does not include network downtime associated with having critical departments down which is estimated to be around $50,000 per hour.

In an age of automation and more cost effective storage solutions, I am surprised backing up every piece of your data isn’t a standard practice.


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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in Storage


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