Data Backup

by Wally Moore

on March 21, 2019

in Data Protection

Data Backup gets no respect

Seriously! None, zero respect, about the importance of backing up your data; in case you lose it.

Data Backup is definitely the ugly duckling of digital technology. Data backup is similar to the life of the lowly and abused Cinderella before she lucks out and goes to the big ball. Data backup is like the homely and shy looking girl that none of the boys will ask to dance. Data backup is like the driver who never wears a seatbelt because he’s never been in a car crash, so he sees no need to wear one.

In doing my research for this post, I asked myself, “In light of the overall general lack of interest in this topic, why have you written so many blog posts on this subject?” Here at DTS InfoTech, we’ve written thirty-eight posts that focus on data backup and disaster recovery to be exact! This post is number thirty-nine.

Why so many posts on backing up your data? The simple answer is: Because it’s so important.

In real life, DTS InfoTech has restored lost data for many companies. We’ve seen first-hand the emotional cost of data that has disappeared; data never to be found again.

Preventing that emotional roller coaster ride is worth the prevention (data backup) alone and we haven’t even mentioned the reality of saving your business and potentially your way of life because the data was saved and successfully restored.

As an IT Services company, we experience first-hand the comments and attitudes of Data Backup being the ugly duckling of technology until we were called in to restore the data that had been lost. After we successfully restored the data, from backup, the data backup frowns had suddenly become a graceful white swan in all its beauty. I’m being serious here, no exaggeration.

Data backup was Cinderella until the prince took one look at her and she became the undisputed star of the ball.

Data backup was the homely looking girl that none of the boys asked to dance. Until she made one, unafraid young boy, into a gentleman and hero by dancing with her.

Data backup was like the driver who never wore a seat belt. Until a seat belt saved lives in one vehicle, while lives were tragically lost in the other vehicle because they were not wearing seat belts.

If you ever experience the loss of data at your business, you’ll wish you would have taken the time and invested in data backup technology. Why? Because once the data is gone, it’s gone forever. And if you don’t have data at your business, chances are you won’t have a business in the future.

A true data backup and recovery story . . .

A long time ago, in a place not very far from here, I was involved in restoring data from old backup tapes so the company I was working for at that time could defend a manufacturing patent in a courthouse in downtown, Portland, Oregon.

In 2004, the president of the manufacturing company I worked for, called me into his office and showed me a medical implant. We had manufactured thousands of them for years. Pointing to the implant on his desk he said, “The original design notes and blueprints for this implant are backed up on tape right?”

I said, “That data is on old tapes, in storage, that we have never used. The IT guy before me replaced that old backup system with the new one we’re using now. We haven’t used those old tapes or that backup system in years.”

He said, “But I’ve been told by the engineering department, the original design notes and manufacturing blueprints are on those tapes. You CAN restore that data right?”

I said, “Uh . . . yeah. We’ll have to send the tapes out to recover the data. Why do you want this done?”

He said, “Look at the implant closely.”

I personally had worked on thousands of them, before I became the IT guy, so I knew the product very well. I picked it up and carefully looked at it, but I was confused when I didn’t see our company name on it. The name that was there, was a competitor of ours. This didn’t look right at all. With a puzzled look on my face, I looked at the president again.

The president said, “Pretty good fake huh? It’s a knock off! We’ve filed a patent infringement lawsuit to stop them. But we need the date stamp from the original design notes and prints to prove that we’ve been making this rod for 5 years BEFORE our competitor released this. We’re going to court over this.”

With a very serious look, he said, “You CAN get that data . . . can’t you?” I said, “Yeah.”

And he said, “Good, you have two weeks.”

I sent the old tapes to Ontrack, in Minnesota, which is now Kroll Ontrack. They specialize in data recovery.

Pretty impressive technology

NASA sent the flight recorder box from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster to this company, and they recovered over 95% of the data that was found on that flight recorder box, at the bottom of the ocean.

Ontrack called me to say they could recover most of our data, but not all of the data, because magnetic backup tapes degrade over time and these tapes were old.

They said recovery would take them 5 days and cost $3,150.00. We gladly accepted their price and turn around.

A week later, they sent us the recovered data and we were able to find and restore the original “date stamped” design notes and prints.

Mission accomplished!

A few weeks later, in downtown Portland, in the 4th Judicial District Court of Oregon, the lawyers for our company submitted these “date stamped” documents. When the judge announced his decision and the gavel came down, our competitor was found guilty of patent infringement.

You’ll find documents posted that state:

“The jury found that Stryker had willfully infringed the Acumed patent and awarded damages based upon Acumed’s lost profits and a reasonable royalty. On February 22, 2006, the district court granted Acumed’s motion for a permanent injunction.”

That’s the best data backup and recovery story I know of. I just happened to be there.

That’s my own personal story and I’ve shared it because I want to make two points:

1. I had zero experience and no desire to change backup tapes. Maybe you’re the same?

2. I felt ambushed into doing a job that “at the time” I wanted no part of. Maybe you’re the same?

My point is this, it doesn’t matter how you feel about data backup; you’d better do it!

So when I talk about Data Backup and Disaster Recovery, the reason I want you to know about my story is that it doesn’t matter if you understand or even care about the technology behind restoring lost data. I didn’t understand or really care about it either. But having the technology saved the day for my company and me.

It will save the day for you too

Don’t look at it as something you don’t want to deal with and therefore you won’t and you put it off until you forget about it.

Have a reputable company come in and take care of the technology part for you. It really is that simple. And if a time arises that you need to restore data, you’ll be able too and you be really glad you were wearing your seat belt, also known as data backup.

That’s the whole point of the story

To help you understand, and learn more about this neglected topic of data backup and disaster recovery, as mentioned, we have written many blog posts about this. They are listed below. Just start reading them. I know they will help you.

Data Backup blog posts . . .

How you prepare can mean the difference between business as usual and costly downtime: Do You Need Backup?

“We’ve been hacked.” This article is a must read for all small businesses. It’s about electronic hackers and a small business in Chicago that tragically was successfully hacked: Hackers Targeting Small Businesses: Now they’re after the rest of us!

As a proactive CEO, you know that implementing solid business continuity and disaster recovery plan, also referred to as BCDR, is essential for your business: CEO. Here’s why you care about Data Backup and Disaster Recovery

Cyber attacks are on the rise—and so are temperatures, which can increase the risk of natural disasters: The Case for Modernizing Your Data Protection Strategy

Today’s small to mid-sized businesses, or SMBs, are creating more data than ever. Their growth calls for more robust solutions to back up their business-critical data: Backup and Data Protection for the SMB: What they need to know

Data is the new currency, and in order to stay competitive businesses must protect it: Top 3 Benefits of Image-Based Backups

Data Backup and Recovery? Lately, we’ve had a number of conversations with small business owners who think they’re okay because they have their data backed up: Data backup and recovery

Business Continuity (BC) is a very broad subject. There is much to consider and much you can overlook: Cure your IT ailments with Business Continuity

Backup versus business continuity and data protection solutions are essential for businesses of all sizes to implement, regardless of size, industry and geographic location: Backup versus business continuity: plan better for your business Part 1

Events visit all businesses in the form of hard-working employees who make mistakes, up to inadvertently launching a Ransomware attack by clicking a malicious link: Give Small Business What It Needs Part 1

These posts will teach you why only backing up your data is not good enough: Give Small Business What It Needs Part 2

For years, you’ve been hearing about the importance of data backup: Not All Business Continuity Solutions Are Created Equal

For everyone who feels unprepared for this and for those who did not choose the responsibility of Data Backup and Disaster Recovery at the company they own or work for: Data Backup and Disaster Recovery – Critical business topic

What you must know about data backup and disaster recovery, should you experience a data erasing disaster at your business: Data backup centers, thousands of miles apart means data is safer

If you are worried about whether or not your current backup and security processes are up to par: I Don’t Need A Data Backup And Security Audit Part 1

In this post we poke a little good-natured fun about business owners: I Don’t Need A Data Backup And Security Audit. My IT Guy Has It Covered Part 2

Continuous backup and bare metal imaging headline the sixth post from our Business Advisory Guide: Continuous backup and storing copies of data in remote locations

So what should you look for when choosing a company or service to backup and secure your data offsite? Backup Service – IT Company – Demand 12 Characteristics

After working with over 2,500 small and mid-size businesses in the Portland Oregon Metro area, we found that 75% of business owners we talk to initially do NOT have a reliable backup of their data and do NOT know how or what they would do in the event of a data-erasing disaster: Data Backup & Disaster Recovery – Businesses are misinformed

They simply “hope” their backup is/was working and that it will save their bacon when disaster strikes: Data Backup & Disaster Recovery: business owners don’t get it

DTS InfoTech Can Help

We’re really good at this data backup thing. Seriously, we are.

On the other hand, most small businesses do not have the technical resources or time to understand all this geek stuff. If this describes you, we can help. But if you don’t really believe this stuff, first, you will have to pull your head out of the sand.

Just saying.

If you would like more information please give us a call, we’re always happy to chat and the call is free!

Dedicated to your success,

Wally Moore

General Manager

dts|infotech . . . secure computer networks that work