Every few months one of my customers will ask me if I have copies of their reports. Usually a hard drive crash or some other system failure has made some or all of their reports disappear. Only then do they realize that they have no backups. When I work on reports in my office I have copies to replace the lost files. But recently I am doing more work via remote control. In those cases I work directly on the customer’s workstation, and so I don’t have copies of the reports to use as backup. So, do you have recent backups of your reports?
If you do, it is just as important that you do a pretend restore periodically. That is the only way to confirm that your backups are any good. I remember one customer who used a tape drive for backups. He had followed an elaborate rotation schedule for the tapes and dutifully swapped the tapes out every week. But when I checked one of the tapes I discovered that the backup program had stopped running several months back. No one realized that the tapes hadn’t been updated in months. Another client was told that her IT department was managing her backups, but it turns out they were only backing-up the shared network drives. Only after her hard drive failed did she realize that she had no backup of her local files.
The most recent was a customer who accidentally deleted an elaborate report we had done together. It was the only copy. That was when I first got the idea to write this post. Then yesterday I learned that March 31st is World Backup Day (so you won’t be an April Fool). The official site has all sorts of info on backing up your data. Do us both a favor and backup your reports regularly.