Wednesday, August 5, 2009

For God Sakes, Plan for a Disaster

Two incidents recently drove home the importance of planning disaster recovery for me this week. One was a client. Sadly, the other was our server.

First the client. Like many clients, this one is using a USB drive for backup of a computer that does peer-to-peer sharing on the network. All of their accounting data is on this computer as well as other files. After a period of time they stopped doing the backup. You know the excuses, none are good, but all of us start to slack off over time.

So, the hard drive in this computer dies, no backup. We got lucky and after I moved the drive to a different computer, it was readable, and we got the data. But it was coming up as a hardware failure in diagnostics.

Now for our server. It is located in a basement. The water main in the basement broke and filled the basement with 6 feet of water. We did have a backup, but it was with the server. So, always do an offsite backup. Fortunately for us, all we lost was some configuration documentation and the billing info for the last month. We were able to recreate the billing info and we can figure out the documentation again.

We will not be caught like this again. We will be implenting a full offsite recovery plan. And it will be automated, so we can't get lazy about it.

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