Basics ... Why you backup.
- . Backups are
essential. All Harddrives will die. Floppies are
unreliable. Tape has a definite lifespan. Properly
cared-for, CD's will outlast your computer and your
- . The files you
create and your need to access a backup can be broken
down into three catagories.
- 1] Your hard drive dies and you need to
access the last backup of a file due today. OR you
accidently throw away a folder with a file you need.
OR you open a file, change it dramatically and save it
- overwritting the original version. You can find last
night's backup on: the harddrive or Zip or network
drive you dragged a copy to last nite. Time: 1 minute.
Or you can restore the file from yesterday's tape
backup. Time: 30 minutes.
- 2] The last file you imported into your
document last night, was a corrupt EPS. Now the file
will not open. The backup last night also saved the
corrupted file, so you need to access the backup from
two days ago. OR, if you make sequential saves, you
just need to find MyFile04 &endash; the incremental
file save from two days ago.
- 3] Last night the roof leaked, both the
server backup system AND your computer were trashed.
You need to access the backup tape that was stored in
a fire-proof box - safe from the water damage.
- 4] A client needs the file created six
months ago, they are willing to pay 25% of the
original fee for the file. You go to the Archive
shelf, pull ThatCompCD#3 from the shelf and transfer
the project to a Zip and courier it to the
- The Reality
- 1] Last night was so hectic, you forgot
to drag the file to the backup volume, you will have
to recreate the changes that took you all day,
yesterday to do. You loose the client. Cost
- 2] You never do incremental Save As.
Using just the Save command, you realize the entire
project needs to be redone. Your boss asks you why you
aren't better prepared.
- 3] Last night the roof leaked, all the
tapes were sitting on the shelf with the server and
are damaged. A file recovery service quotes a
- 4] You only back up to tape. The tapes
from that period were a format that you don't have a
drive mechanism for. None of your friends have that
size tape drive. You explain to the client, you no
longer have those files.
- The Ideal
- 1] All your files (the documents you
create) are automatically copied onto a server hard
drive twice a day. You never know it's happening but
you can access a four hour old file in two
- 2] Once every hour you are prompted to
do an incremental save of your project. It has become
second nature. You open a previous version and
recreate the lost two hours of work.
- 3] Each weekday, all new and modified
files on everyone's computers are backed up. Only
today's tape is removed from the datasafe. Each end of
month a complete backup of all computers is done and
taken off-site. You take the tape to your backup
server and recreate your files.
- 4] As projects are completed, the
files, imported graphics, project notes, and fonts are
collected to a folder with job number. The folder is
stuffed into a self-extracting archive and written to
the client's set of CD's.
- More Information
- . Retrospect costs
$150. It is a quality program and can backup Macs and
PC's across a network. It is sciptable and backups can
be set to happen any time any day of the week or
month. Media supported include most tape drives (drive
mechanisms $600 to $1200 &endash; 2.6Gb media $15) ,
Zips (drive mechanisms $129 &endash; 94Mb media $10),
Jaz (drive mechanisms $300 - 2Gb media $100), and
writeable CD-ROMs (drive mechanisms $450 &endash;
650Mb media $2.00).
- . Dantz publishes
Retrospect and their site, www.dantz.com
is a great source for information on hardware and
backup strategies. Recommended.
. Shareware programs are
available that will synchronize two folders (a folder on
your hard drive where you save all files &endash; and a
folder on another local harddrive, Zip, or server volume)
This means you will always have two copies of all your
files immediately available.