Backups, Pay Now or Pay Later

As IT professionals, even we tend to forget to do some of the lessons we always preach. It’s certainly an easy thing to do. Recently, I had one of these faux pas in regards to backups.

I own personally a workstation that I use to edit/add effects to HD videos shot on Go Pro cameras. I also am a hobby Photographer primarily using a combination of a Nikon DSLR, Photoshop to edit, and Adobe Lightroom to organize thousands upon thousands of photos I have taken.

This computer is also an extensive collection of rock and roll music from the last five decades or more. I’m talking about 200-400 CDs / vinyl that have been imported into a large raid array existing in this workstation. I always take a weekly differential backup of what has changed and try to take a monthly full backup. My important documents also get back up on a more regular basis.

I had one form of backup and now have learned the hard way that one is not enough. You always have to test your backup if it is critical to you. One of the storage drives in my raid array crashed, taking with it about 100 CDs worth of that imported music.

While no important documents or pictures were lost, I’m now looking at a tedious, long process to re-import these songs back into my digital music library. The backup that I thought I had of these songs I had not tested. It did not work upon trying to restore the data.

Had I tested this backup and had a secondary backup, I would have been more fortunate. Take what I’ve learned the hard way. Apply it to your backup strategy while it’s still easy to do. Backups, pay now or pay later.