Backup How-To's: Why Ever Back Up Data?
If you are like most computer users, you probably experienced the frustration of having your data lost. Whatever the reason a hard drive failure, a virus attack, or your own mistake, it is still something that could have been prevented, but wasn't. And if you had a backup, you would be able to easily restore all the data back without reconstructing it from different sources or sending your hard disk to data recovery service.
According to statistics, in any given year up to 10% of all PCs in the world suffer data loss. Translating this number to the amount of computers involved in business activities, this results in over $20 billion losses and this number is growing with each year. In today’s computerized world, the statement "time is money" has turned into "information is money": information became the lifeblood of all modern businesses.
Ask yourself a question: how many workdays could you afford to lose if something happened to the computer you work on? Reinstalling software, rescanning all papers, rebuilding customer database, etc. this may take weeks. 60% of commercial enterprises that lose their data and fail to recover it for the first five workdays file for bankruptcy within one year. Drive recovery services can charge thousands of dollars per case, and still provide no guarantee of success. Isn't it way too high price for not having a backup?
Computers may break down, they can be stolen, there can be fire in the building in all cases you will need to recover information. 30% of companies that had their offices burnt went out of business within a year, with 85% of those due to impossibility to recover their data. And the world is unaware of any single case where a company that had a full backup failed to get back on its feet again.
Backup at Home
For home users loss of their computer data can be even more heartbreaking. Money may come and go, but impressions and memories are priceless. Think of your e-mail correspondence, ICQ history and contacts of your friends how hard would it be to restore them? Think about your family archives, all photographs that you collected for years! Even these superficial examples illustrate how devastating data loss can be quite well.
Computers have grown to be such an essential part of our lives that it's almost unimaginable without them. People are used to relying completely on their operation forgetting that they consist of mechanical parts that are subject to wear and failures. And when a disaster strikes, it is often too late. You shouldn't put off making backups it is easy, not expensive, doesn’t take much time, and the amount of time and nerves it can save is beyond all expectations.
In the next article: Three Types of Data You May Want to Back Up
"Backup How-To's" is a series of articles discussing methods and strategies of organizing computer data protection. These articles will be of great interest and use for PC users of all levels, from those who use computers at home to system administrators in large commercial enterprises.