IT Best Practices.
Server Hosting: Where Do You Keep Your Data?
Client information, inventory, finances, accounts receivable, sales transactions, employee records, marketing projections, and information derived from analysis are just a small sampling of the kinds of data that businesses use to keep their operations going. Data is the life blood of a business yet you wouldn’t know it by the way many of them store their data.
Data doesn’t seem to get the kind of respect that money does. Businesses (and people for that matter) have no difficulty understanding the importance of keeping their money in a bank rather than stuffing it in a desk drawer or convenient closet. Yet their equally important business information is handled in a similarly cavalier way.
While many businesses take advantage of colocation server hosting, others keep their data in less ideal locations. Here are three of them:
Although this is the digital age, many small businesses haven’t taken advantage of its benefits. They still issue and keep paper invoices, use paper to-do lists, mark off important appointments on paper calendars, and keep filing cabinets full of paper files with important business records.
On Spreadsheets And Desktop Applications
The digital spreadsheet is powerful, versatile, and inexpensive. You can almost do anything with a spreadsheet if you know what you’re doing. Because of this, businesses keep vital information on their spreadsheets which are stored in their desktop hard drives. Some keep backup files while many do not. This practice of storing data on a local hard drive via spreadsheet files is also done with other useful desktop applications. Like storing data on paper, data storage on hard drives are subject to similar vulnerabilities such as flooding, fire, theft, and loss.
In The Janitor’s Closet
The janitor’s closet is one specific instance of a phenomenon known as the “server closet” or “data center closet.” These are typically out-of-the-way and out-of-sight places such as coat closets, storage rooms, and janitor closets where servers often find a home. Server closets usually lack cooling and other environmental controls, and may have plumbing, sinks, and other sources of H2O nearby.
Because server closets are co-opted out of convenience, they tend to be poorly suited for housing the equipment and the business critical data within them. There are no dedicated support staff, and troubleshooting as well as minimal maintenance are done by an employee whose job is to do something else. Like storing data on paper and desktop hard drives, the “data center in a closet” is also subject to the vulnerabilities of fires and floods.
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