DATA LOSS VS. PEACE OF MIND | PRG Technology Solutions | Real Technology. Real Solutions.


on April 7 | in Technology Solutions Blog | by | with No Comments

Since the days of college, I’ve been religious about backing up my data.  It only took one loss of a hard drive (luckily at the end of a semester) to scare me enough to purchase my first backup device.  I vowed at that point to have redundancy for all crucial data from that point on, and I have had several experiences since then that have given me peace of mind because I adopted some best practices in the mid 90s.

Since then, I have spent a great deal of time in the tech sector, and most of the companies I have worked for had protocols for backup.  However, my most recent employer was not a tech company, and certainly did not practice the same path of redundancy most companies do.  I ended up overseeing IT for the company and all of its subsidiaries, where I managed to save them from a few catastrophic losses, but not all of them.

While the main company performed high level asset trading, the subsidiaries were in commercial real estate and debt collection.  I spent a great deal of time in Wichita, where one of the buildings was located, as well as the debt collection company.  On one trip, I was overseeing a large tenant improvement project, and needed better workstations .  So, I called up the VP of the debt collection company, and said I wanted to stop by and pick up a few.  We agreed on a time, and I thought it would be a matter of re-configuring a few machines before handing them off to the engineers, and then I could return to my project.

The Familiar Whine

It was my first time visiting the debt collection company.  It was in a building that had high ceilings and a somewhat industrial look.  However, the first thing I noticed when I walked in was a familiar high pitched whining noise reverberating off of the ceiling and walls.  After meeting the VP, and going through the normal pleasantries, I inquired as to where the servers were.  I was escorted back, and as I got closer, the whine became more pronounced.  My worst fears were about to come true.

I pointed to the one with the drive gasping for its last breath, and asked if it was the main database server.  It was.  I pointed to the drive and asked if that was the primary location of the company data.  It was.  This meant that the antiquated hardware had hundreds of millions of dollars worth of debt information that was about to be lost forever.  Why?  Well, the backup server had given out months before, and because it was a custom database that already had some corruptions, backing up that data became my number one priority.

I ended up bringing in a programmer that had worked a little bit on the database in the beginning, and between the two of us, we managed to migrate, upgrade, and repair the database on current hardware.  I also set up the new backup solution so that it wouldn’t happen again.  Less than two weeks later, the old server took its last breath.

Expecting The Unexpected

Two years later, I encountered another situation at the main company.  Our Exchange server crashed and it was a very painful, time consuming process to rebuild it to its previous state. I made the recommendation of changing backup solutions, as well as migrating Exchange to the cloud.


The CEO was very protective of his data, and rightly so.  There was a lot of proprietary data, as well as information from Fortune 500 companies that was under strict confidentiality agreements.  I explained the urgency, as well as strategy for migrating, but he thought I was overly cautious. Although I articulated a guaranteed data loss, there was no convincing him.

A few weeks went by and the inevitable happened.  The Exchange server crashed again, and we could not restore it as before, because of improper backups.  We managed to get the server up and running, but we had lost about 20% of the data due to a new corruption in the Exchange database.  This was the motivation it took, and we rapidly migrated Exchange and backups to the cloud.  It has been almost three years, and they have not lost any additional data.

Learning Instead Of Repeating

The moral to the story? Being proactive (rather than reactive) when it comes to your critical data is paramount.  It is the lifeblood of most companies.  Whether caused by nature, technological failure, or human error, data loss is the ticking time bomb every organization faces.  Onsite backups are a great start, but the cloud can be a more effective and efficient way of protecting your data.

When it comes to your company’s IT infrastructure, you have to ask yourself “How important is our data?”.  If your office was destroyed, and your data along with it, would you still be in business?  If you lost even 10% of your critical data, how would that impact your productivity?  If the answers to these questions emphasize the critical nature of your data, then it’s time to look to the cloud for peace of mind.

About the Author

Kade Hoff is a Branch Sales Manager for PRG Technology Solutions in Irving, Texas. His background in technology sales and management provide a rich perspective on some of the emerging technology trends of the day.  PRG Technology Solutions offers a Managed Backup Service that provides secure data backup to Windows Azure and Amazon S3/Glacier. For more information on the PRG CloudSure Managed Backup Service, visit the product page at, email at or call (214) 624-3100.

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