On at least a daily basis, you need to have a backup of your data files.
If you own a retail store or restaurant, here’s the problem. Let’s say that your computer just stops working. Let’s say it stops working at 1 PM (the middle of your work day).
What do you do?
You’re up the creek? I think there may be a better phrase for it, but I won’t use it within the newsletter.
I’m going to give you advice. I know you are not going to follow it due to the additional costs involved. At least you would have an idea of what you should be doing!
Most larger businesses like banks, department stores, and corporate chain stores have redundant systems.
Here’s what I would do if I owned a retail store or restaurant (no matter what the size of the business).
You should have a “real” server. Most small businesses use an ordinary computer as their server.
What is a “server”? That’s the computer that holds all of your data that is shared within your business.
Many stores use their server for other tasks such as playing Pac Man, Poker, Angry Birds, or search the Internet for pleasing photos. YOU SHOULD NEVER USE YOUR SERVER FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN STORING YOUR DATA. Your Server should only be used to store your data. That’s it! No games. No web searching.
Why? The server is the life blood of your business. You don’t want to use up resources on that computer. You don’t want to overload it. You don’t want a virus on your server. Just don’t touch it.
An inexpensive server will cost you about $1,000. Many business owners think it’s a waste of money to just let it store your data. Believe me, from experience, don’t use it for anything but the storage of your data.
What is a “real server”? I made up the term. However, there is a difference between using an ordinary computer as your data storage computer and using a computer that was built to be a server.
A “real server” will have at least two hot-swappable hard disk drives. The two disk drives will be using Raid 1 (or some other type of Raid) and mirror the two disk drives.
Everything written to the first disk drive will be mirrored onto the second disk drive. Should one disk drive fail, you just remove it and put in another replacement swappable disk drive. Upon putting in the new disk drive, all of your data will once again be synchronized. All this will happen without any downtime.
A “real server” is also built to higher specifications than an ordinary computer. You have a superior or redundant power supply and all the parts are more industrial than an ordinary computer. It also has a more advanced operating system made for security and data safety.
How much will a “real server” cost you. You should get help from a computer professional. If you do it yourself, it will cost you about $1,500 for the additional equipment. That’s about 75 cents per day or less over a 6 year average life of a server.
OK. Your data is now safe. What happens if a water leak on the second floor destroys your server? You can have a second server located elsewhere within your business or even off premises. That will cost you another $1000 or so (maybe 50 cents a day).
You can also mirror two servers so that a second server will take over should your primary server not be available.
What happens if your store is robbed of all of your equipment? You should be backing up your data to the Cloud on at least a daily basis.
If you own any retail store, figure out how important your data is to you. Get the help of a computer professional and do it right.
How often will a computer catastrophe occur? If I had to give an answer, I would say at least once every 4 years. I am also 100% sure that the catastrophe will occur at the worst possible time.