The inability to access information, or the total loss due to malfunctioning hardware, can cause a total shutdown in activity. To a business owner, this can grind operations to a halt, and the lost time equates to lost dollars because of decreased productivity, or, worse, the inability to simply pick up where he or she left off. Web-based tools in the software-as-a-service model are highly sought-after for their reliability and ease of access, but what about the documents that don’t live in the cloud?
To business owners, a reliable backup system is part of any business continuity plan and can be the difference between a critical shutdown and a speedy recovery, allowing the company to recover in minutes without skipping a beat.
While countless off-the-shelf options are available, Apple’s Time Machine is perhaps the perfect tool for the job based on its effectiveness and ease of use, but here are the most common events that can lead to data loss in the first place:
Damage to the hardware, ranging from natural disasters to spilled coffee
Hard drive failure stemming from the “shelf life” of the internal disc
Theft or loss of the computer itself
Corrupted files from malware or viruses
With any good backup regiment, the most important factor is not merely backing up data frequently, but automatically. Enabling your system to accomplish this task behind the scenes not only saves time, but also ensures that human error won’t come into play as a cause for blame.
The setup couldn’t be simpler, as the only requirement is that Time Machine is enabled from the Systems menu, which will prompt the user to select an external hard drive via USB or Firewire.
Upon completion, Time Machine not only runs on its own, but it can store different versions of the same file, allowing the user to return to a particular period in time to regain access to a document as it once existed. This futuristic feature not only works for individual files but for the entire system, even allowing users to restore settings as they once were.
The initial backup can take some time, since it’s duplicating every single byte of storage on the hard drive, but the regular backups that occur thereafter are quick and seamless as the system needs to only reflect the changes that have occurred in the meantime. In instances in which users also use additional external drives or USB flash drives, one even has the option to choose that these too are on the radar of Time Machine, mirroring their content as well.
Above all, it’s essential that data is not only backed up, but secure in its new destination. File encryption, available through Time Machine, helps ensure that the documents you’ve set aside for safekeeping are password protected and won’t fall into the wrong hands.
While I prefer Time Machine, no matter the techniques you choose, it’s vital that business owners have a solution to back up data early and often. Having the right tools in place ensures that, should the worst occur, regaining access to a single file or the entire system can be resolved with a seamless restoration process.
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