/ Disaster Recovery
Bloomfield, DentalMate Developer
Have you ever called
customer support with a problem, and had the voice on the other end of
the phone ask, "when was your last backup?" As an experienced
computer user, as well as developer, I know first hand the importance
of a regular backup strategy. The sinking, desperate feeling that comes
when you realize you need your backup, but don't have one is horrible.
The purpose of this article is to help explain the importance of a regular
backup process, and to describe how to setup a process to make sure you
never have to re-enter weeks or months of work.
You should already
have a method for backing up your data to tape, flash drive, internet
cloud backup, or external hard disk. The focus here will be to make sure
you have a solid process in place for backing up your data. Review the
following steps to be sure your process is a good one.
Make a backup
Most of the software
available today, will let you schedule backups to occur at night when
you are not using the system. You only have to remember to change the
cartridge each day. Please remember all computers must exit DentalMate
before making a backup. If one computer is running DentalMate, the data
files will NOT be backed up!
Due to the large
number of customers who have had backup failures, the DentalMate Backup
Utility was created. Because this utility is part of DentalMate, the
problem with other workstations having the application open while trying
to make a backup is circumvented by testing for open files. The DentalMate
backup is an excellent choice for daily backup processing. It creates
a small compressed backup that will fit on most flash drives. The backup
is verified against the real database at the time it is created. It
is still recommended that a full disk backup be made of your computer
on a regular basis.
Have a minimum
of six backup cartridges. Each day, change the cartridge to the next
one in sequence. If you only have one backup cartridge, and something
your data, but you don't find out about it for serveral days, the bad
data has already been written to your only backup. You should also have
separate month end and year end backup cartridge.
Okay, so you make
a daily backup and put it in a file in your office. Then one night someone
breaks in and takes your computer, and backups; or your office burns
down. It is important to take backups out of the office.
This is the most
important part of the process. You may think that you are making good
backups each day, only to later discover that you have been backing
up the wrong drive, or the wrong files, or maybe that nothing is being
backed up at all.
There are a wide
variety of products on the market today for making backup copies of
information stored on your computer. Dentalmate cannot possibly stay
up to date on all of them. Please make it a point to find out how your
backup software works. Contact your hardware vendor if you don't know
backup software works. Take some time out to be sure that you are really
protected against hardware, software, or human failure. It is not a
question of whether or not you will need your backup, but when you will
need your backup.