In-House - Backup and Data Recovery

Do-It-Yourself, Backups by Sneaker-Net, Drag-N-Drop, Write-To-CD, Windows-Backup give us a bit of control with the Daily, Weekly, Monthly ritual and a sense of security. Even with stopping everything right before we are to go home and copy everything to that thumb drive or network drive, except when we have to leave early or are just plain tired. We said it's better than nothing or paying those prices for special software.

Some of us will even move the backup to the file cabinet, or closet.

Day after day, week after week, month after month (when we remember to do it), we do our backups.

Then you go on vacation and the boss calls "Where did you put the backups?" and "When was the last time you did the backup?". And you think to yourself, "Dang! When was the last time?" or "I think it's in the left bottom draw in the supply closet with the Staplers and stuff or did I leave it on my desk?" Then you say, "I'll be back in 3 days and I'll do the backup up then." The phone goes silent...      ..."Hey! Are you still there?", you ask hesitantly. Your boss says, "The computer died and we have to use the backup to get back up and running, and the thumb drive on your desk is empty."


What do you do?

When could it have failed?

How would I know that the thumb drive (or any storage device) was not receiving the backed-up data files?

All I was told to do was "Do the backup."

Of course, not all of us are just left to "do the backups". Some of us use multiple thumb drives alternating drives based on the day of the week or this one for even days and this one for odd days, etc.

Even with the added protection of multiple storage devices, this backup strategy is no good guarantee to a successful backup and data recovery solution.


Even with the most diligent of backup strategies, none of them is viable or considered as reasonably guaranteed in and of themselves.


When you backup any data set, you are taking it for granted that -

when you need it:

  • The data was actually backed up,
  • The storage media took the total data set,
  • The data is up to date,
  • The data can be retrieved.

you can recover it:

  • The data actually was backed up,
  • The storage media actually took the total data set,
  • The data is actually up to date,
  • The data can reliably be retrieved.

That means that there is no guarantee that the data set can

reliably be retrieved - until you want to recover it. Yes?


So how do we confirm the reliably of our backups?

We figure out a way to regularly test that what we are backing up is accurately retrievable?

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