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  • Disaster Recovery Plan

    Do you have it? How do you protect your system and data from some kind of a disaster?

  • #2
    Re: Disaster Recovery Plan

    Unfortunately, since most of our machines and software combos use dongles and/or are tied to a platesetter, then really the only thing I could do was:
    Use Drive Snapshot (Windows) to backup some machines in my room to images on the server, which is getting archived to tape (rotating on-site unfortunately), and can be restored fast. I have also virtualized the machines I can (rip and proofing rip). For the others which change more often (software updates/upgrades), I keep a bootable backup on an extra internal HD in my Macs and use PsyncX to clone the first HD to them, and use BootIt NG to clone my Windows XP system (because I didn't want to choose to virtualize Windows XP because of WGA and not be able to use my physical install once I activated my clone in a virtual machine). Now if something happens that's not a disaster, I can either boot up from the clone (if I have a bootable clone that's not an image), or restore the backed up image over the initial install. BootIt NG and having a clone on my second internal HD on Windows XP machine saved my bacon this last week in fact.

    If fire or anything that drastic were to happen, the dongles would be melted or gone (so the critical software wouldn't work anyways), and the machine hooked up to the platesetter (as well as the platesetter) might be melted too, so it would take much more to get back up and running (and not quickly I would say). Much more problems in that scenario than just hardware and software in prepress.

    I've done all I can do, since I'm really not in the position to do any more than I have.

    Don

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    • #3
      Re: Disaster Recovery Plan

      Systems are one thing but data is money.

      You've got to protect the data.

      Rotational backups using tape is effective. So is using FireWire hard drives depending on the amount of data there is to store, how frequently is changes and how long you want to keep it.
      Matt Beals
      The views expressed here are my own personal views and are not those of my employer.

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      • #4
        Re: Disaster Recovery Plan

        Ryan,

        I work at a small to medium offset shop (14 employees), and we have 3 main elements in our disaster plan.

        First, all our customer records (since we converted from a ledger card system to Filemaker Pro in 1998), are backed up every couple of days to a flash drive that goes off site. Same with our accounting records, they are backed up to a Firewire drive at the end of every day.

        Second, all art files are backed up about once a month to a Firewire drive that is stored off site. It should be more often, but you know how that goes. This doesn't cover all the old archived files - stuff put on CD 5 or 6 years ago. It also doesn't cover our technical pen and galley type art boards from the 80's, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

        Third, we paid for all our entire shop to be documented by a company that does such things for insurance purposes. They videotaped the entire shop, just to get a feel for shelving, miscellaneous tools, etc. Every item with a serial number was recored with model, description, cost, date purchased, serial number. This list includes everything from presses to spectrophotometers. All software was recorded as well, with serial numbers, etc. All this information is kept in the company's safe deposit box.

        What would likely happen in the event of a major catastrophe, is that we would take our customer records and art files and start knocking on doors looking for a buyer for the business. It would take months to make a start at re-equipping a shop, and our customers would expect their jobs within days. The asset documentation would just be icing on the cake for the owners, to get the insurance company to pay full price for all items lost, not just their 20 cents on the dollar initial offer.

        Protect the data, the other "stuff" is just going to be numbers on an insurance cheque.

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