Data Storage Could Use a Backup Plan

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Data Storage Could Use a Backup Plan

Mar 1, 2014 9:00 AM, By Chriss Scherer, editor

Data. It's everything we do, both professionally in radio and in our personal lives. Music, spots, metadata, equipment settings ... and that's just on the engineering side. Add the data on the business side with accounting, advertiser information, sales info, human resources. And what do you have at home? Photos, videos, music, passwords ...

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I'm sure you run data backups at work. If you're smart you run data backups at home, too. I recently came across a photo album and lots of old records and it started the wheels turning. In the case of the physical materials I found, there are no backups. I don't plan to create copies of the old records (there's a financial gain planned for those), but the photos are important. I will scan and store those.

But that's where I focused my thoughts: the storage of this data. While most of us likely try to store materials in a logical place on a hard drive, then back up that hard drive regularly, it's not uncommon for items to be stored in a directory not included in the established backup plan. And quite often programs want to use their own paths for data storage, and not necessarily the paths you or I would pick.

With multiple users, the likelihood of missed items grows quickly. If you also maintain staff laptops, you know there are files being stored on the machines' hard drives that should be included in the backup process. That's a bigger challenge to cover, but it might be worth some investigation.

With all this in mind, it's probably a good idea to review your backup processes as well. When was the last time you verified the system in place? Was it all designed before Y2K as a preventative measure? If so, it's certainly past due for a review.

But even if the system was put in place within the past few months, there could be changes. Perhaps production decided to save materials on a different path. Maybe sales added a database that is saved in a location not in the backup path. These things happen, and they're not intentionally placed outside the continuation of a business plan. Also look into the default paths of the various programs and apps in use to ensure the default is within the backup scope.

Of course even with the best intentions and planning, something can still slip through the cracks. But it's better to find it in a routine check than when a crisis hits and everyone is scrambling.

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