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Alastair Revell is the Managing Consultant of Revell Research Systems, a Management and Technology Consulting Practice based at Exeter in the United Kingdom.
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The material published in this web log is for general purposes only. It does not constitute nor is it intended to represent professional advice. You should always seek specific professional advice in relation to particular issues. The information in this web log is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.

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Review Entries for Day Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Register recently reported that Bexley Care Trust had lost a considerable amount of Microsoft Exchange Data. One of the Register's sources asserts that this was due to "primitive backup procedures". Another anonymous source interviewed by them suggested the server was six years old and that the tape heads were badly worn. They also suggested that the trust had been warned over six months ago that the UPS battery needed replacing.

I doubt Bexley Care Trust will be the only organisation to suffer such problems.

I think many organisations have come to assume that their systems will run and run. They have done so for years, so why assume they won't continue to do so? The reality is that sooner or later disaster will strike. Many organisations are loathed to properly fund their information technology (IT) infrastructure, simply increasing the risk of a disaster occurring. Indeed, some organisations seem to feel so immune from disaster that they fail in the most basic areas of disaster recovery, namely in backing up properly.

If reported accurately, it is clear that the warning signs were there at Bexley Care Trust: UPS battery on the blink and an old server.

Sloppy backup procedures are far too common. Very few organisations test and in many SME firms the attitude towards this important procedure is completely blasé. Did no one check the backup logs on a regular basis at Bexley Care Trust? I fear not otherwise someone would have noticed that backups were failing (assuming they were being done!)

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006 10:16:56 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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