Covering Your Back With IBACK

Posted October 2006

As everyone knows, the past several years have seen an increase in natural disasters that have had widespread affect on small and large businesses alike. And whether this increase is attributed to global warming or just the natural cycle of climatic conditions on Planet Earth, experts warn that Mother Nature is likely to remain active.

Of course, as a welding supply distributor, when you stand in the middle of your warehouse and look around it is easy to assess the amount of product and assets that would need to be replaced should a catastrophic event such as fire, tornado or hurricane find it. You carry insurance to protect those assets and although it would take some time, your losses would be minimized and you’d stay in business. But, although your insurance would replace your computer system, it doesn’t protect what’s inside – your data. Your data is a tremendous asset that can easily be undervalued until it is gone. With INFONETICS’ capability to store virtually unlimited history, the more of the system you’re using, the more current and historical data is at risk.

Whenever we install a new system, we spend a fair amount of time acquainting our new customer with our recommended approach to data security. That is to make or allow the system to make a back-up copy of the entire database every business day and to remove that copy from the premises. We have found that fireproof safes are not flood-proof. Also, fireproof safes are often rated as “fireproof” for paper documents but not necessarily for plastic-based recording media. INFONETICS official position on safeguarding your data has always been and will always be to take the most recent copy off-site.

But what happens when “off-site” is in as much jeopardy as the store? As we saw with Hurricane Katrina, it is possible to sustain devastation so widespread that even off-site storage might not be absolutely secure. As much as we all hope and pray it wouldn’t/couldn’t happen, INFONETICS, as the IT provider to over 260 welding supply companies needs to offer procedures and solutions for worst case scenarios.

The Internet, which was conceived and created by the Military to survive the most devastating of natural and man-made disasters, can work for our customers as the final back-up or safety net for your data. INFONETICS can now offer an off-site data back-up service to our customers looking for absolute data security. Called IBack (for Internet Back-up), the service automatically sends a copy of your data to a server anywhere in the world running Red Hat Linux. This server could be a server at another warehouse; the owner’s home, relative’s home, etc., or even here at the INFONETICS office near Columbus, Ohio. This strategy would provide a complete back-up copy of your data to be stored in a entirely separate geographical location and isolated from the risks your main server may be under.

When the data is stored on our servers in Grove City, Ohio, the IBack service is priced in increments of required server space and billed quarterly. 

Once in place IBack runs much the same as your regular INFONETICS back-up system, automatically starting at a predetermined time, finding the server on the Internet and copying each data file to it. With the aid of an INFONETICS support specialists data recovery would be just as quick and easy if needed. In fact, if the solution to your hardware problem included a replacement or loaner server from INFONETICS, that server would arrive with your data in place and ready to go when the machine is powered up.

For more information or to get IBack backing you up, give us a call at 614-875-2006.