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Google Calendar was down recently. Let’s talk about backups.

June 20, 2019 / in How To, Information Technology / by

When I write a blog post, I’m looking for things that happen to give me inspiration for a story. And something happens every week worth writing about.

Little League Baseball

For example, I was at a little league baseball game last night and a woman was talking to one of the kids on the bleachers. She said something noteworthy when giving him advice for his next school year: ” Follow directions. Make good choices. Be nice to your friends.”

What a great start for a blog post… but that’s not what I am writing about this week.

A few things happened this week to inspire this story.

1) Google Calendar was down for a few hours on June 18th.
2) One of my clients heard horror stories of a company in her industry losing all their data when an online service they used deleted their company records. No way to get the data back. Gone.
3) A friend of mine lost a bunch of drone video footage on an external hard drive that got dropped a bit too hard. No backups.

Make sure your important data is backed up. (And don’t put it off.)

It seems obvious that you should be backing up your important data. But are you? Let me walk through the three things I mentioned above to help you determine if you are comfortable with your current data backup process.

Google Calendar was down. Inconvenient, but I wasn’t worried.

Why? Because I use Backupify to back up all of my Google applications. It costs $3/month per account. Worth it. (They have solutions for backing up Office365 and Salesforce as well.)

I can’t imagine losing my email or calendar data. Or my Google Drive data. When Google Calendar was down this week, it was really nice to know I had a plan in place.

Most people assume that their data is safe in the cloud with Google. A reasonable assumption… but why not have some insurance in place to make absolutely sure? Especially if it costs only $3/month per account.

The Horror Story About Company Data Being Deleted

One of my clients uses cloud based software to run many aspects of their business. She participates in user groups and peer groups and that’s how she heard about another company in her industry losing all their data. No backups. Gone.

She asked me to look into options for backing up their web based software. I learned that their cloud software provider allows clients to download all of the core data from their system at any time. So we set up a process to do that data download on a regular basis. We stored that data on their network server… which also gets backed up to the cloud.

But it took thinking about it… and doing something about the risk… to make sure the data is available, even if something terrible were to happen with their cloud software vendor.

Again, people trust that their data is safe in the cloud, but if your business would struggle to survive if the data was lost, it’s worth the precaution of making copies. Regularly.

Losing Data on External Drives

If you store data on an external drive, and that’s the only place the data exists, you need to figure out a way to make sure it is backed up regularly.

Personally, I don’t store data on external hard drives that I wouldn’t want to lose. I use DropBox and I have unlimited storage on Google Drive. So my files live there. And both of those systems allow you to sync files with your local computer(s).

I have a work laptop as well as a work desktop. All of my files are constantly in sync between both machines and the cloud file storage services I use.

When was the last time you checked your backups?

If you are backing up your important data, have you tested those backups in the last 6-12 months to make sure they are working? This story might be the reminder you needed to check. The inconvenience of doing some checking now will be insignificant to the pain of actually losing your data in the future.

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