I’m coming into an organization with fresh eyes, and wondering about the whole issue of backup. Currently they have a massive Dell server with RAID 5 drives at the headquarters. There are about five administrative staff, and four teaching staff at headquarters.
Each of five field offices has 1-2 staff. Each staff person has their own desktop machine. Some have personal laptops which they use when away from the office. Data is stored on thumb drives when transferred between the laptops and the desktops.
Headquarters has an HP DAT backup system with DAT tapes that back up the data directories on the storage. Assuming each headquarters staff uses their designated storage folder on the server, they can be assured that their data is being backed up. Backups occur at the end of each day. There are two Friday tapes. One of these is stored offsite at the end of the week. The staff is trained and comfortable with this arrangement.
In the field offices, a previous regime installed little USB hard drives which are attached to each staffer’s PC. An automatic backup program periodically copies the data directory to the hard drive.
The current arrangement has several issues:
Field office data never gets formally transferred to headquarters. Although there is much back and forth via eMail attachments, the contents of the field office hard drives never get transferred.
- Backup is not offsite. If a fire occurs in the field office, it is probable that all the data will be destroyed and unrecoverable. Guess what just happened a month ago with one of the field offices?
- EMail is not backed up.
So, the question is, how can we protect ourselves from ourselves?, or in other words, automatically secure all of our data in a somewhat undisciplined organization with a comprehensive yet unobtrusive backup system?