As IT professionals, we are (or should be) quite obsessed with backups.
The question is … does our obsession go far enough?
Yes, I’m sure our IBM i systems are all backed up quite securely … with tapes being rotated and taken off site. Probably even a solid HA solution to mirror your operational environment to another machine.
But how many of us backup our workstations?
As we all know … hardware fails. It’s just a fact. Hard drives especially, as they have parts that are constantly moving.
When was the last time you backed up your workstation?
Not to take a ‘holier-than-thou’ stance … but I’ve got my workstation backed up three times a day to an external 500gb USB hard drive using Norton Ghost. I particularly like Norton Ghost because it can do a complete backup (or incremental) while I’m using the system. I’ve got it to configured to backup the entire system at 6am, 12pm, and 7pm. Full backup’s once a week the rest are incremental. I had to ask our IT manager for the drive and software.
Guess what: It’s saved my bacon more than a few times.
Case in point: A few weeks ago the main hard drive on my workstation started generating errors … mind you I wouldn’t have noticed if I didn’t check the Windows event log periodically (another pet peeve of mine, disk errors should generate critical error notifications in Windows).
I ran the built in disk diagnostics and was informed that there was an ‘Error 7’ on the hard drive.
I told our network administrator about it, he got me a replacement drive, I installed it, and started the restore from the backup.
My total down time was about 3 hours.
Had I not been doing regular backups of my workstation, my down time would have been significantly longer.
I would have had to reinstall windows, reinstall all software (some of which requires a LOT of time to install), reapply all the updates, reconstruct my development environment, and reconstruct any the local documents I had on my machine. Best guess as to down time: 2-3 days.
Take my advice … get some backup software that makes it easy to do regular backup’s for ALL the machines in your organization and start using it.
Oh, while you’re at it … pick up an inexpensive UPS for your workstation … there’s nothing more annoying than a minor power blink that causes your workstation to reboot.