Don’t let your life’s data go up in flames with your shed

Storing your backup off-site is akin to not putting all your eggs in one basket

Elderly Shed

There was a sad story on the BBC news this evening that caught my attention. The item concerned how the author and panelist Francis Wheen has lost the “manuscript” to his latest book when his garden “shed” went up in flames. Unfortunately, his laptop and his backup disks, as well as all his books, were stored in the shed. As is well known, a shed is man’s place of refuge from the outside world. In this case however, it didn’t save him.

In interviews, Wheen was pretty philosophical about the loss. You may not be so sanguin if it’s your company’s data that goes up in flames.

Store data off-site to avoid loss

The simple message is to ensure you have an off-site copy of your backup as well as any local copy. Depending on your needs, and the volume of data, this could be on-line in the Cloud, at a dedicated data storage site, or even in a key worker’s home.

In one of my businesses, where the total backup fitted on to a single magnetic tape, in its early days we used to post the previous day’s tape back to us, second class. That way, there was always at least one day’s worth of backup somewhere in the postal system. In effect, Royal Mail was our backup storage provider!

Whatever you do, so something; and do it NOW!

Image by Bob Harvey [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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2 Responses to Don’t let your life’s data go up in flames with your shed
  1. I also tackle this issue in my item “When is a backup not a backup, when it’s a Wheen Backup”. Maybe the term will get adopted as a digital badge of inadequacy.

    • Gareth Howell

      Nice one, Jeremy. You should copyright that one.

      I know Wheen took a very philosophical view about the loss of his book, and said he simply sat down and wrote it again, but the “cost” of re-creating all that data must be immense.

      Thanks for commenting.