Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Waterproofing Your Data Backup Tapes and Documents

Best Business Practices for protection your data backup tapes from water, flood, sprinklers and fire hoses

Taking steps to protect your business data (servers, hard drives, backup tapes) from fire is a tremendous step toward ensuring your resiliency and financial health. It remains equally important to protect these backups from water as well. With over 95% of fires there is water present. Fire hoses and water sprinkler systems can cause just as much damage to your data as fire. Below are several best practices for safeguarding your backup data and business documents.

Plastic Bags and Rubberized Containers

Removable media tapes (DLT, LTO, VXA, etc) are more prone to damage from fire and water. While the items do remain protected from fire in a UL 125 rated safe they also need protection from smoke and water. By simply storing the tapes in a sealed plastic bag, Tupperware or other rubberized container, water damage can easily be avoided. This best business practice is often overlooked by many businesses. This one simple step can mean the difference between fully recovery or partial recovery.

Waterproof Hard Drive

A fire resistant and waterproof hard drive is a common approach to protecting your data backup. These USB external hard drives offer a great alternative to automated the data backup process as well as mitigating data security risks. Offering protection from a 1700 degree fire for 1-hour and waterproof data backup to 30 feet for 30 days, the ioSafe hard drives and Network attached storage systems are the best choice for businesses.

Water Resistant File Cabinets

Protecting paper documents from fire and water is also a common best practice for business continuity. Schwab Corp., one of the largest manufacturers of fire filing cabinets makes their TRIDENT Series cabinet with additional protection from water. Inside the drawer heads of every one of these fireproof files is a rubber seal to give unprecedented protection from fire hoses and water sprinklers systems.

Off Site Backup

Combining an on site and off site backup strategy is a preferred method to protect from water damage as well as fire damage. In the event of a natural disaster an offsite backup plan is one of the best insurance policies for data and document recovery. Many business use a combination of tape backup with hard drive disk or NAS storage in both the primary business location and at an off site storage facility. This ensures the best recovery time objective possible with a 'belts and suspenders' approach.

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