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Crash Course

What you can do to ensure your business comes out of a data disaster alive.

M arc Pezzolla has always taken great pains to protect his company from data disasters. As co-owner of Sine Systems, a small manufacturer of remote broadcast equipment in Nashville, Tennessee, Pezzolla backs up his computer files daily, has two hard drives set up so that everything stored on one automatically copies to the second, and even bought extra insurance to cover the cost of data recovery.

On April 16, a devastating tornado ripped through Nashville, lifting the roof off his building. Water drenched everything in sight, including his three computers. Although two started right up after the disaster, the third one--with critical financial data--started up once, then died. Upon review of his backup tapes, Pezzolla discovered that his backup software wasn't working--and he didn't have a copy of the missing data.

Pezzolla shipped the damaged computer overnight to DriveSavers, a data recovery company in Novato, California, to see if the crucial information could be retrieved. Thankfully, the company was able to restore everything except his last two weeks of financial data, which Pezzolla was able to recreate.

Most companies aren't so lucky. When it comes to protecting your business from data loss, you can never do enough. It's imperative to have a well-designed recovery plan in place so you'll know exactly what to do if disaster strikes.

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This article was originally published in the September 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Crash Course.

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