Your data is the life blood for your company
If you lose access to a significant portion of your data or your data becomes corrupt …you are in big, big trouble. Maybe you have seen recent statistics relating to the loss of data:
- DTI/Price Waterhouse reports that 7 out of 10 small businesses that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year
- The Gartner Group reports that 25% of PC users experience data loss every year
- Contingency Planning and Strategic Resource Group reports that 96% of business desktops are not being backed up … at all
- Finally, we all know that 100% of all hard drives, tape drives and tapes fail … none of these last forever and unfortunately will eventually fail.
You could lose access to your data on any given day
It is a fact that on any given day you may lose the ability to access your data. But if you have a properly executed backup and recovery plan, the loss of access may be for a only a few minutes, or only a few hours if you’ve experienced a larger disruption.
With this being said, your business needs to use one of the greatest advancements in backup technology ever. The technology is called “Disk Imaging”.
Finally, Fortune 500 Disk Imaging Technology, vital to the protection of your Computer network, is now affordable for small businesses
So, What Is So Great About “Disk Imaging”?
Let’s start with a brief description of disk imaging or “imaging” and go from there. Standard (non-imaging) backups are file-oriented; each file you’re backing up gets copied to the backup media, one file after another. That’s OK, as far as it goes, but it usually means it’s difficult to copy any files that are in use by the operating system itself or by the user … meaning that your backup may not be as complete as you think!
There also can be problems when you restore a file-based backup. Again, in-use files may not be able to be restored properly, even if they were originally saved OK. Plus, whatever files can be restored will be overlaid onto an existing setup, so you end up with a mix of freshly-restored files alongside old files. This means that when restoring from a file-based backup you may not be able to correct some software problems, and may not be able to bring your system back to “like new” condition, no matter what you do.
Imaging the contents and structure of the entire hard drive
“Imaging” a hard drive is very different. It’s disk oriented instead of file oriented so the imaging software copies the first sector of the hard drive, no matter what it contains, then copies the second sector, and so forth. The image contains not just a bunch of files, but an exact copy of your hard drive’s complete contents AND a complete copy of its structure.
This means that an image captures everything at the moment that the image is created. Many professionals call the image a “snapshot” because it is much like taking a picture of everything on the drive at one point in time.
In practice, if (for example) you make an image of the hard drive in your brand new PC with a fresh install of the operating system, with everything tuned, tweaked and optimized to perfection … and then you accidently drop the PC when you are installing it at your desk, you can recover. With “disk imaging” you’ll be able to restore the drive to perfect condition just by copying the backup image back on to a new hard drive.
Your computer system just got messed up, and using disk imaging, your system is right back where it was…in a matter of minutes!
The ability to restore individual files
But a good imaging tool can do even more: It will also let you selectively restore individual files, if that’s all you need: You don’t “have” to restore everything in the image, unless you want to.
You can see why imaging is such a big deal: It not only provides all the benefits of file-by-file traditional backups, but also gives you much more; it gives you the the ability to totally restore your system to a 100% perfect state, in a matter of minutes.
Imaging needs to be a major part of your backup strategy
You should be capturing images of your server each week at a minimum. You should also be capturing images of your critical desktop PCs on a reguler schedule also. Hopefully, your users are storing all of their data on the server (which is being backed up daily), so it may only be necessary to capture an image of your less critical desktops occasionally, because if they ever fail, you can reload the image without having to worry about recently changed data because the data is on the server.
Imaging allows businesses to benefit from some truly remarkable technology that makes Disaster Recovery far less painful than it was a few years ago.