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Risks of Data Loss

Last updated 2011-02-26 - Send Feedback
Related: backup, Backup

When something bad happens, will your data be vaporized forever? Or will it be easily restored? Or restored at considerable expense? It’s your choice.

Loss of data might even mean irreparable harm to your professional reputation (think wedding photographer who loses the wedding photos). Or a lawsuit for damages.

The importance of your data naturally implies how often you backup, whether you seek fault-tolerant systems, how many backups you keep, where you store your backups.

Professionals must think carefully about what it would mean to lose an hour or day or week or month of work, and devise an appropriate strategy to reduce potential loss to an acceptable level.

What people actually do for backup

In my work with my consulting clients, I encounter a wide range of situations. Scenarios 1/2/3 are very common, a red flag if you fall into that area.

  1. Users who do not backup, or have a single backup drive attached to the computer, or who think that their only copy is a backup because they moved it off their main drive.
  2. Users with 10 external drives who no longer are sure what is where or whether it’s backed up. Some of them are 2/3/4 years old.
  3. Users who have seen repeated external drive failures, but keep buying the same failure-prone brand.
  4. Users who think that a RAID-1 mirror keep them safe.
  5. User who maintain a disciplined backup strategy with multiple backups stored away from their working computer.
  6. Users who have lost data and spent $10K or more to recover it.
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