Big Backup Solution For Small Business And The Home

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Alarmingly, it is still apparent that a huge number of small businesses and home users do not implement effective backup and recovery solutions to protect their data. This is very strange in a time when the information held on computers is extremely valuable, and relatively simple-to-use backup solutions exist. This week Iomega Corporation announced details of its Desktop Hard Drive Tera Series, an external hard drive with a 1 Terabyte raw capacity in a box measuring approximately 32 x 16 x 20 cm and with a sub $900 price point.

There are many reasons why small businesses and individuals fail to adequately protect their data. Many of these are concerned with a lack of appreciation of the important role data backup and, more importantly, recovery, holds. Most only appreciate the value of good backups after they need to recover information following a problem. However, in the past another factor has been important, namely the difficulty of making backups quickly and the even greater problem of recovering information.

These, ‘technical’ difficulties should now no longer be a major concern. However, with the arrival of external hard disks and modern removable storage platforms (such as the Iomega Rev drive), the problem of having a quick backup option is now resolved. Perhaps more importantly, there is also relatively simple-to-use (even for an inexperienced user) software available to protect and recover information.

The Iomega Tera external hard drive could prove to be extremely useful for small organisations or home users that need to secure large amounts of data quickly and that require the ability to recover information rapidly. With a raw capacity of one Terabyte—that’s one thousand Gigabytes—this drive can handle a lot of data, a feature likely to be important to those wishing to backup significant volumes of information. Equally, many home users today have spent months digitising their entire music and/or photo collections yet few have safely backed up this content. With digital media of all types certain to increase in usage, backup platforms will need very high capacities.

The Tera drive connects to its host via either a USB 2.0 port or through a FireWire 800 connection. FireWire 400 connectivity is supported via an adaptor that is supplied with the unit. The 1 Tb capacity is supplied via four 250 GB SATA drives, each of which can be removed and replaced in a simple to follow operation. Each of the disks operates at 7200 RPM and comes with 8Mb of cache to help ensure high performance.

The device supports a variety of Windows (Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional) and Mac OS computers (v10.1 or higher on Mac G3 [blue and white G3 models only] Mac G4 or iMac).

Important as the speed and capacity of the device may be, the ability to use it is equally important. To this end simple-to-use backup and recovery software is included in the box. For Windows users, the software provided is Iomega Automatic Backup Pro, a simple-to-use package supplying continuous protection capabilities along with features providing encryption, backup scheduling and file compression. For Mac users, the software supplied is Dantz Retrospect Express, a tool that is straightforward to use with a range of sophisticated features.

The Iomega Tera Series offering clearly has potential value for a huge range of organisations and individuals. For the more paranoid I would recommend that, whilst it could be the primary backup and recovery system, vital information should also be protected via a removable media device to allow off-site storage of critical information.

For many people and small businesses data can be irreplaceable and incredibly valuable. It is time for everyone to look at protecting their data sensibly. Suitable solutions are available and affordable.