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View Full Version : New business idea - physical data storage for disaster recover


InnoCreate
29-11-2005, 01:21 PM
Hi All,
After recently completing my latest physical data back up it got me thinking - i keep all my databack ups in the same building - what would happen if this building burnt down - i'm sure while i'm runing out i'm not going to think - Oh i must grab my data backups. Thats even if i was in the premises at the time.
This has led me to investing in a large fire resistant media safe.
As this safe is pretty large and i have masses of spare space i have been thinking about branching out and storing other companies data in it for a small yearly charge.
Media would be sent to us where it would be deposited in the safe, the media would have a tamper proof seal on it - thereby giving the client peice of mind that we're not going to open the media and steal their data - there would also be terms and conditions clauses preventing us from doing this. In the event that any thing should happen to the clients premises - whether it's a fire, flood or terrorist incident they can be back up and running within a day or two. We would dispatch data back to clients on a next day pre 9am or pre 12 am delivery service.
If the price was right would any one be interested in this type of service? Any other issues you could think of?

Cheers.

Martin
29-11-2005, 01:39 PM
Not for me :(

Physical Media means you need to load it and unload it on a reg basis, so it's not automatic.

You could setup a remote server and rsync daily. (Over an SSL link and you can buy dedicated servers pretty cheap)

Media going missing in transit is a major problem, over 200,000 peoples personal details were lost in the US when backup tapes were sent by post.

Most of these Safes will last 1hr in a fire, after that and you chance the media being destroyed so a fire system should also be installed adding extra cost to your setup.

I just think techology (for the price) has moved beyond the need for this these days.

regards,

Martin

nick.martin
29-11-2005, 01:49 PM
Northern Rock use physical backups, they own a big warehouse full of them!

cc123
29-11-2005, 01:57 PM
just to expand on that thread -
what do those of you with websites do for back-up.
Currently All i have is the local files on my site - and a DVD back up. Would you recommend something more?

Martin
29-11-2005, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by nick.martin
Northern Rock use physical backups, they own a big warehouse full of them!

Yes, but Northern Rock backup more daily than you will in your lifetime and from 55 sites. :D

It's partly IT infratructure investment.... Northen Rock are in the Mortgage Lending business, that means digital and paper records must be kept for many years (Sometimes 25,50, 100 yrs or more)... If you think a DVD backup after 10-15yrs* or so will lose it's data then you need a long term plan to put this data in databases. (or secure media)

*i'm 99% sure it's about that..

You also need to think of future compatibility if your backing up for the long term. (ie. customer data) As many new PC's these days don't come with 3.5" drives, expect the CD to disappear too... (or plan for it)

It's the same with your software, if your backing up long term, don't use Microsoft Word 2003 files, who's to say in 2015 being able to read the same file will still be possible, who's to say MS will still be around :D ? Use an open standard.

Big subject to cover really...

ACN
29-11-2005, 02:39 PM
Thinking about this idea and moving slightly off track, would there i wonder be customers for a service that makes and stores copies of precious family photographs, wedding etc.? With houses prone that may be prone to flooding this may be one way of 'backing up' and also of course if the home had a fire.
Would this service give piece of mind knowing that although the originals may be lost (and even stolen) copies were still available?

Just a thought.

InnoCreate
29-11-2005, 02:51 PM
Ok thanks for your replies. I was thinking of this for smaller companies who perhaps only would be sending a backup once a month. Yes i had thought about a fire supression unit as well as 2 hr fire resistant safes - the point to this idea though is that the likely hood of my premises and my clients premises being attacked or destroyed at the same time are very unlikely so one of us would always have a backup.

One of the reasons i was thinking more along the physical side of data storage was because some of us have very large files not suitable for transfer over the internet - unless we want our broadband connection to be running full speed for a month. As part of our companies activities we were previously processing client data and this worked out at 360GB per run and the runs were scheduled at 6 a year - try transfering that amount over a broadband connection to a dedicated server and see how long that takes. Even compressed it's still 40gb - small enough to fit on a portal harddrive or a DAT drive but not much good for internet based remote storage.

Also we only need to take a look back in the forums a few weeks ago to see that computerised backup still has many limits - with the attacks on the webservers. Ok personally i think if the necessary security was in place the incidents wouldn't of happened in the first place - but we are all human and falable.

ACN - I like your idea - maybe it's something worth thinking about.

Anyway thanks for the feedback - it's an idea at the monent that i just wanted to throw about.

jklondon
29-11-2005, 03:56 PM
Think (IMHO) there is some room for players in the online back-up market, good service matched with good prices (in fact I did some due-diligence in this area several months ago if anyone is seriously interested). I tested a piece of software which sent data to a protected mirrored storage unit located somewhere in the Isle of Man and NY. Anyway the data was encrypted before uploading and their advanced product used a VPN for uploading (if you need to be really sure about security!). This works great for code but for “heavier” items such as Databases, Images the upload was slow – however broadband developments are already improving this, I know one 24meg bit provider who
provides (in theory) 1.5MB upload transfer rates.

JK

Martin
29-11-2005, 04:04 PM
I don't think you've fully investigated the choices available.

Incremental File Transfer means only the files that have changed will be sent, this massively reduces the amount of time and bandwidth required.

Rsync is a great example of such a program which is free and open-source.

Large files can be sent fine over the internet, and are all the time. It depends on the protocal your using. FTP is better than HTTP.

And I'm unclear about the remote internet storage problem, all production servers should be using RAID, this should be your first line of defense incase of a problem so it's up running asap as a disk drive faliure is more likely than a fire and the more disks you have, the more likely one will fail.

Martin

James Smith
29-11-2005, 04:17 PM
I think there is a market for this service for many "normal" business without huge data needs. My entire data base of all client work is well under 2 gigs which is nothing much in data terms and i keep nearly everything electronically.

Although saying that, why would people pay for it? And is it worth your while to market this? In my last role industry for a fairly small firm whoever put the office alarm on, took home the backup tape so you had the “two fires” theory again. Perhaps you could broaden it out by offering a “disaster recovery review”, ie how you get back on your feet from a blackened office or your PC being re-formatted. This is a valuable service I you do it properly, something we used to do in my Audit days.

Following Phils little problem I now have offsite backup of my files - all this means is that I plan to post an incremental backup file to my brother in law once a month which will easily fit on a CD Rom. I have had a regular overnight system to an on-line backup service for a while, the manual CD Rom is just being “belt and braces” to ensure there is no electronic connection between my data and my network. This protects against the very remote risk of a malicious attack.

Hope this helps,

Regards,

Phil
29-11-2005, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by ACN
Thinking about this idea and moving slightly off track, would there i wonder be customers for a service that makes and stores copies of precious family photographs, wedding etc.? With houses prone that may be prone to flooding this may be one way of 'backing up' and also of course if the home had a fire.
Would this service give piece of mind knowing that although the originals may be lost (and even stolen) copies were still available?

Just a thought.


Hmm... you've got me thinking there ;-)

ACN
29-11-2005, 10:08 PM
Make the service affordable, offer a quality copying service and perhaps a one off fee rather than yearly.

Marketed correctly it is certainly a service that i would consider.

JustOneUK
29-11-2005, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by Phil
Hmm... you've got me thinking there ;-)

you would still have to get hold of the originals...again causing that LOST IN TRANSIT problem OR the person could simply scan them themselves into their own computer and burn a couple of copies.

Phil
29-11-2005, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by JustOneUK
you would still have to get hold of the originals...again causing that LOST IN TRANSIT problem OR the person could simply scan them themselves into their own computer and burn a couple of copies.

I was thinking as a Photo:digitiser service :)

SBar
30-11-2005, 12:33 PM
Our backup plan is a monthly backup to a large portable harddrive and then produce diffs from that backup which are written to Iomega REV tapes.

At the moment our data throughput is low enough to stay on one REV tape per day (<35gb of compressed changes since the last monthly backup) and we are protected from losing more than 24hours of data. We will be however getting a lot more data through eventually and we will be moving on to multiple tapes (most likely investing in extra drives to write out at the same time).

We've considered internet backup as we have a few dedicated servers on very fast links, unfortunately our upload is only 768Kbp at the moment so it would take a while for the busier data days. Having said that we do have some good patching technology which we could take advantage of and we have considered writing an online backup system in the past mainly just for ourselves.

If anyone is looking to set something like this up we would be able to help on the software side at least on providing a technical spec for a good system.