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<September 2014>
Offsite Backups
The news today has pictures of severe flooding in the northeast.  While hopeful that the damage is minimal, it is a reminder to plan for such tragedy.  The pictures show first floors of businesses underwater.  It is easy to think that a disaster will never hit your business but the odds are that at some point one will.  I have developed and maintained IT systems for 20 years and have had to use backups at least a dozen times.  That doesn't sound like a lot over a 20 years career but without those backups, my career wouldn't have been 20 years.

It's not enough to just backup your data, you must also think about where and how backups are stored.  A good backup policy should store data periodically offsite.  If flooding were to destroy your computers and your backups are sitting right next to the computer then you have a problem.  But if your backups are 10 miles away in a water and fireproof safe, then you still have to recover from your disaster but you now have the ability to do just that.

Your backup policy doesn't mean that you create a backup every night to be taken off-site but you should perform a backup on some interval such as weekly or monthly.  The importance of your data to your business and the effort to recreate should determine how often you perform a backup for offsite.

Faster networks also make it much easier to backup remotely but even with remote backups, it is still  a good idea to have a physical backup offsite in fireproof and waterproof location.
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