Coping with a Serious Data Loss from your Computer Hard Drive
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Data loss is an expensive reality. It's a hard fact that it happens more often then users like to admit. A recent study by the accounting firm McGladrey and Pullen estimates that one out of every 500 data centers will experience a severe computer disaster this year.As a result, almost half of those companies will go out of business. At the very least, a data loss disaster can mean lost income and missed business opportunities.
The other side of data loss is the psychological and emotional turmoil it can cause to IT managers and business owners. Despair, panic, and the knowledge that the whole organization might be at risk are involved. In a sense, that's only fair, since human error is one of the two largest contributing factors in data loss. Together with mechanical failure, it accounts for almost 75 per cent of all incidents. (Software corruption, computer viruses and physical disasters such as fire and water damage make up the rest.)
Disk drives today are typically reliable. Human beings, it turns out, are not. A Strategic Research Corp. study done in 2000 found that approximately 15 per cent of all unplanned downtime occurred due to human error. A significant proportion of that happened because users failed to implement adequate backup procedures, either having trouble with their backups, or having no backup at all.
How does it happen that skilled, high-level users put their systems - and their businesses - at such risk?
In many cases, the problem starts long before the precipitating system error is made, that is, when users place their faith in out-of-box solutions that may not, in fact, fit their organization's needs. Instead of assessing their business and technology requirements, then going to an appropriate engineered solution, even experienced IT professionals at large corporations will often simply buy what they're sold. In this case, faith in technology can be an vice instead of a virtue.
But human intervention itself can sometimes be the straw that breaks the technology's back. When the office of a Venezuelan civil engineering firm was devastated by floods, its owners sent 17 soaked, mud-coated disks from three RAID arrays to us in plastic bags.
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