Saturday, January 31, 2009

Backup Speed and Hard Disk Fragmentation

Recently a long term client called and asked a question about why the Datashield Online Backup seemed to taking longer to complete when the new data was not increasing respectively.

First I tested the server upload speed at and it was normal at 410 kilobytes per second. Then I created a 10 mb test file and initiated a manual backup - the time to backup was just over 40 seconds. Not a significant slowdown considering all the communication going on between the source and destination computers.

At this point I decided to look at the performance of the local server and discovered that the hard drive was significantly fragmented. File fragmentation occurs over time as additional data is written to the disk. The more data written to the disk, the more fragmentation occurs. As file fragmentation increases so does the time to access them. Online backup lives by the same rules - if your disk is fragmented it will take longer to access and upload your files.

Not only do tasks take longer when a disk is fragmented but a disk also has to work harder which increases the potential for early failure. There are a number of automated disk optimization utilities available for home and business. These resource saving utilities can be set to defrag disks on a scheduled basis or when a disk reaches a predefined performance level.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Protecting Your Data - The Basics!

Being a father, business owner, outdoor enthusiast and general digital packrat I find that the information I save to my hard drive is steadily increasing. Some of it I need to keep for long periods of time (maybe even for close to ever) and other stuff is project or research based and can be deleted after a period of time.

Why backup? I usually get the call after a client has lost some or all of their important personal or business related data. Data loss can be from accidental deletion, to a hard drive failure, to the loss/theft of a computer system. Yes, data can be recovered from a failed hard disk but sometimes the disk can be scratched and the more difficult it is to recover data the more expensive it gets! Theft usually means that someone else has your information and the chances of recovering it are slim to none. The number one method for ensuring that this doesn't happen to you is to back up your information on a regular basis.

Backing up your information can be in the form of: a portable hard drive, memory stick, CD/DVD, email, tape backup and online data backup. I've tried them all and the number one reason for not backing up is that other things became more important and it simply wasn't done. The solution for me was an automated secure offsite backup solution. Online backup works for me because basically I just set it and forget it. As with any backup its critical to make sure that your data is backing up and that the files you want to backup are selected for backup.

My main categories for backup are : Business and Personal; which include email, documents, pictures and video's, websites (source and current files), client information, web resource information, financial information web resources, favorites and a few other user specific categories.

Get backed up today with Datashield!