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What is the most critical piece of hardware within your business?


I had a meeting with a local company yesterday and as part of that meeting was a review of the systems they already had in place. So all the desktops, servers, routers, printers, routers and switches were all documented and then I asked the client “what do you think is the most critical piece of hardware within your business?” He replied “That’s easy – it has to be my desktop as without it I lose the ability to do any work”.  I disagreed.

I pointed out that the files that he uses on a daily basis were infact not on his desktop but stored on the server and then shared across the network.  If his computer died he could go and purchase another one that day, connect it up the network and retrieve his files without a lot of effort. “Ah but what about my emails?” “They are backed up to the server every night and anyway you have access to webmail”.

So you might be thinking at this point the the server would be the most critical piece of hardware within this business but again I would disagree and I shall explain why.  The setup is as follows:

This particular business has five desktops which all connect to a Windows Server which stores all their files.  The desktops back up their emails (pst file) to the server every night and the server itself is backed up to the cloud.  This means that they have onsite and offsite backups.

So what is the most critcal piece of hardware – their Netgear router!!

If the building burns down or all their equipment is stolen they would still be able to access their data from anywhere with an internet connection.  If the router goes down they lose all capability to use emails and can no longer communicate with the outside world but probably more important is they would not be able to backup their data to an offsite location.

So I think in this case the router is the most critical piece of hardware they have.  What do you think?

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

 

How critical is your data?

I was talking to a guy last week about general techie stuff when he said “We don’t bother with backing up our data as we do everything on paper”  You can imagine my surprise when he said this especially since he worked for a law firm!!


This got me thinking.  How long would my business survive if I lost all my data? I am not talking about software but rather all my client data, invoices emails etc.  All the stuff that a small business uses on a daily basis.  The answer is not very long.

I had a customer yesterday who had a faulty hard drive.  When I gave him the price to install a new one, recover his files and reinstall Windows Vista he went white (it wasn’t that high by the way).  When I explained he could lose all his data if his hard drive completely failed or if he was lucky he would be able to retrieve some of it back by sending it off to lab (costing hundreds) I thought he would faint.  His data was critical to him but he had never considered how much.

So if all this data is critical why don’t people or businesses better protect it by backing it up. The answer in my experience is lazyiness.  People generally don’t think about it as they have never had it happen to them.  I had a client once who said that “Their systems had never gone down so why would they start now” (I am not joking!!).  I tried to point out that if the hard drive in any on the systems on the network failed they could lose data (no backup system in place).  I was met with “Never happened before”.  People will only start to listen when they have to dig deep into their pockets to rectify a situation that should never have happened in the first place.

My data is critical so I will keep backing it up (and checking it too!!) but how critical is your data?

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

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