Do you have a data backup plan for your critical data?

Do you have a data backup plan for your critical data?

Posted on June 28th, 2011 by admin


We create a lot of data – and it is doubling every two years according to IDC and EMC.

In 2011 we will create or replicate 1.8 zettabytes of data.  What is a zettabyte?  It is 1021 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.

Storage cost have fallen through the floor, storage is nearly free in the grand scheme of things.  New computers are coming with terabyte drives and we keep filling them up with pictures, videos and music.  All that valuable data we cherish and would be devastated if it was lost.

Having huge storage is great but it is just like having a big briefcase – the bigger the case the more junk we carry.  What most people do not plan for is that disastrous blue screen of death – when the system does not boot and you get the user friendly screen filled with ones and zeros – figure that out.

We ask clients, would you be able to recover your data if I shot a hole in that hard drive right now?  If the answer is NO, then your backup procedure is broken.

Fortunately fixing it is easy and very inexpensive.  If any of your data can’t be lost do the following;

  1. Get a 250 or 500 GB external USB powered hard drive – Around $ 45 – $ 60
  2. Download a backup utility like Cobian and set daily backups of critical data – Free at 
  3. Invest in a personal cloud solution like Jungle disk or Mozy and back up those same critical files – Around $ 5/month


Local IT professionals can only recover lost data to a certain extent.  When hard drives have serious failures and cannot be mounted a more detailed recovery process is needed.  These services typically utilize clean rooms and can recover data directly from the hard drive patters – Sound expensive?  It is.  Costs can range from $ 500 to thousands of dollars depending on the damage and size of the data.

Ever wonder why hard drives are so inexpensive?  Do you know the equation – Faster, Better, Cheaper?  Pick any two only.  Since consumers are so price driven a $ 75 terabyte hard drive seems like a bargain – hey let’s get two – one for each foot!

The down side of low cost is a product that will not last as long as it used to.  We advise clients that hard drives should be replaced no longer than every 3 years.  At the cost point today that is just good insurance.

If you have even more data or a small business environment then you need to look at RAID backups.  This is basically a set of redundant hard drives so WHEN, not IF, a drive fails the data is safe on one or more of the other drives.

Contact your local IT professional and see how affordable a solid backup solution can be deployed for you.

See the “Mashable” article to visualize what 1.8 zettabytes looks like layman’s terms.