Protecting small firms from computer disasters
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After a Power Outage Inspect Your Backups

A power outage can stop or damage your backup systems. Make sure you check them promptly even if you have just a short power failure.

Yesterday in the middle of the day the power went out in our building. No big deal. We worked on backup power until the power came back on 90 minutes later.

Then today one of our virtual machines crashed. I had a text file I hadn't saved in 15 minutes, so I logged into the easiest backup system to open - a NAS (network attached storage) device. No response.

I checked the NAS. It was powered off. It was not plugged into a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) and had shut down yesterday. No problem. Our files are all backed up to our cloud data center and to local drives by image backup software. But our NAS was out of action until I powered on again.

This incident can serve as a warning. Power failures can defeat backup systems. And you might not know there is a problem until you need the backup.

We have multiple redundant systems, but your office may have just one that does automatic frequent backups. Other backups, if you have them, may be days or weeks old. You stand to lose a lot if your main backup system fails.

Your backup systems should be checked at least one a month by performing a test restore. But you should also carefully and thoroughly check your backups after power failures and after major changes to your computers or network.

Redundant, independent, automatic backup systems are wise investments. You want to know that you can get your files back if something bad happens.

 



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