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Commandment 8: House a Backup Offsite

Always keep copies of backup files offsite. I become nervous when clients indicate that their server data is backed up on a tape that’s kept in the server (which occurs frequently). That’s not much of a backup. While the organization might be protected if the server’s hard disk fails, in the event of a fire, flood, other natural disaster, or even a simple sprinkler mishap, keeping all the data in a single location proves dangerous.

Up until Hurricane Katrina, many companies thought that maintaining data stores in two different locations 100 miles apart adequately protected their data from loss. But an act of nature can eliminate both a principal business location and the backup site if the two sites exist within the same geographic region.

No one enjoys planning for such contingencies, but there’s a reason that many publicly traded organizations won’t allow multiple executives to fly on the same aircraft: Disasters happen. Depending upon the industry within which your organization operates, it may make sense to store data in different parts of the country, or even overseas.

One industry experiencing growth is offsite web-based backup. Even small companies can now take advantage of secure, web-based backups that simplify data protection and help ensure that records are backed up several states away, using low-cost broadband connections.

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