Category Archives: Data Management

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Top Five Tech Tools You’re Probably Using – but could use BETTER: part four

Data Storage

Inner view of a Seagate 3.5 inches hard disk d...I remember =&0=&, I was =&1=& for a Wall Street firm when =&2=& arrived. =&3=& dropped what we were doing and rushed to the lab, to =&4=&. “Can you believe it?” someone remarked, “=&5=&“

I imagine this anecdote is amusing even to the non-geeks out there. My iPhone has 16 GB of storage, and that’s not even the top of the line. Terabyte hard drives – a thousand gigabytes – are now available for $100 or less — considerably less than the 1 gig drive we ogled like a fan perched at the velvet rope for a glimpse of his favorite superstar actress. Large format hard drives are marvelous; we can store digital pictures, movies, MP3s of our favorite songs with ease, and room to spare.

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Your data IS Your Business: Dynamic data

In my previous post on data protection, we discussed the three types of Small Business data:

  • Dynamic data
  • Active data
  • Archive data

There are different methods required to best protect the different types of data your Small Business depends on. Note that I said “protect”, and not “backup” you data. Backing up your data is the most important part of protecting it. But steps must be taken before and after backup to make sure the process actually provides protection, and not just repeated activity.

Before backing up your data, you must determine two things: 1) which data will you backup? and 2) how frequently will you backup that data? The answers vary depending on which of type of data we’re considering.

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Your Data IS Your Business

Even if your firm or organization doesn’t “do computers” by trade, computers are probably more important than you realize to your Small Business.

A lot of key information that was once kept in metal filing cabinets and on cardboard Rolodex cards is now more easily and accurately stored on computers.  Large amounts of information – data, in geek-speak – are stored primarily – if not exclusively – on your Small Business computers. E-mails. Electronic documents of all kinds: contracts, proposals, invoices, resumes, receipts. Contact information for clients, vendors, and other business associates.

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What is a Backup?

I have several Small Business clients who “back up” their data by attaching large USB hard drives to their computers, and copying key files and folders to them. While this is an excellent way to archive or synchronize data, they are surprised when I tell them this is not really a data backup. Of course, they then ask me to explain the difference?

  • Archiving – is when you make a complete copy of a folder and all its contents, usually to a tape, CD or DVD, and then store it for reference or future retrieval.
  • Synchronizing – is when you have two folders, usually on different machines, and you take steps to ensure that every file and subfolder which is on one machine is exactly duplicated on the other.
  • Backup – is when you store files and folders for protection against accidental deletion or alteration. In backups, you usually save multiple versions of the same files and or folders, allowing you to “roll back” to the way the files or folders were at a particular date or time.

Archiving and synchronizing save copies of files and folders.

  • Archiving saves many copies of the same files and folders
  • Synchronizing saves only the most recent copy of every file and folder.

Backups save versions of files and folders. Think of backups as the perfect combination of archiving and synchronizing.

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