We live in a digital world. Gone are the days when you could throw the VHS tape in the closet and archive your photos in the scrapbook for safe keeping. Instead, we accumulate gigabytes upon gigabytes of digital data and, if you are in the event business, that only increases on a daily basis. So, how do you protect those assets and archive your work? The answer is: data redundancy. Essentially, data redundancy is having duplicate copies of your data in multiple locations but there is a lot more to it.
I once spoke to photographer who had purchased a “raid” storage device. (Examples of raid storage devices are here) This unit could hold terabytes of data and offered a feature called “single disk redundancy”. What that meant was, if one of the internal storage drives would fail, the others would offer up archived “pieces” of that disk and recover the data. This man then had a disk fail and, while the unit was recovering his data, a power outage occurred in his home. The result was total data loss. Needless to say, he was overcome with frustration and, when hearing about it afterward, I was frustrated on his behalf. Even though he had “single disk redundancy”, what he didn’t have was a duplicate copy of the data separate from his raid device.
Here at Sonburst, we have designed a system to archive all of our data. First, there is the active data on each employees computer. This is archived to a network raid device to create data redundancy. However, there is always the chance of user error in deletion or misplacement of files. So, the raid device clones itself to an identical unit that is invisible on the network. This allows us to restore lost or deleted files immediately and continue our work. Finally, the data on the archive raid is moved offsite to our cloud storage solution. So, in the case of flood, fire, or theft, our data will still be available and our business will continue to run.
While you may not have terabytes of data to archive, it is worth considering the value of your data and what losing it would cost you personally and professionally. If you suddenly feel uneasy about the risk you are taking by not having duplicate copies, it’s definitely time to take the financial plunge and make data redundant backups a reality.
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