How to Backup Business Computers: Michael's Story

How to prepare before things go wrong, and respond when do.
Business owner concerned about data loss

Most Small Businesses Don't Survive Data Loss

Business owners and their customers need to have confidence that operations will be steady. To do that you need to minimize and mitigate liabilities.

Catastrophic data loss can be a fatal blow to business operations, but it doesn't have to be. With less hassle than you might think, you can develop and implement a backup plan that will pull you through if and when you need it.

For more technical information

read our Business Backup Configurations section at the end of this page or The Complete Guide to Backups.

The Tale of Michael

When Michael started crafting his own Prairie Dog calling whistles, he had no idea it would expand into a thriving business. Now Michael has a dozen employees, and is even being considered for a reality TV show.

Things seemed great until a lightning storm hit the area. Michael’s business was spared, but the staffing business next door was struck by lightening. The electrical surge exceeded the surge protectors and destroyed every computer in the office.

Michael took this as a warning and his second chance, and authorized his IT guy to get them some online backup. As it happens, being a small business, Michael is his own IT guy. After some research, and lively discussions with himself, he finds his way to

Michael runs Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials for the server on his little network, and is attracted to the simplicity of installing KeepVault as a dashboard add-in.

So he gives it a try. Critical folders were quickly backed up in minutes, and Michael breathed a sigh of relief knowing at least his customer and billing information was safe. He stared at the empty parking lot next door, wondering if that business would ever reopen.

Prairie Dog, Come Hither

Prarie Dog gif

Backing up the server was great for a while, but Michael realized that some of his employees, like his web guy, were saving a bunch of files on his own workstation. “Dancing Prairie Dog gifs,” the web guy argued, “were difficult to test over a network drive.”

Right or wrong, Michael doesn’t care. The solution is simple: Install the KeepVault desktop application on that workstation and have it do a local backup to the network folder. It took him less than 20 minutes to set it all up, and everyone went home happy.

Sharing the Pain

In a futile attempt to secure insurance money, the staffing company owner next door set fire to his own building. But that’s not the bad news. The fire spread to Michael’s building, destroying it and his demonstration habitat.

But Michael has a business to run. He sets up temporary shop down the street, and orders restore-by-mail from KeepVault with overnight shipping. The next day a hard drive arrives from KeepVault containing all the files he had on his server the day before the fire. He adds the drive to his server, and has it running in minutes. A few short hours later, all the workstations have their critical data restored. Michael is back in business less than two days after losing everything.

Now he has some Prairie Dog whistles to make, STAT! Did you get that on camera?

Technical Details: Business Backup Configurations

There are different strategies you can take depending on your network setup and what level of protection you desire.

Below are typical examples for small business.

Simple small business backup illustrationEach workstation has the KeepVault desktop application installed, and backs up to the cloud and a local network drive.

Simple network and server backup illustrationEach workstation backs up to the server. The server backs up to the cloud and spare/local drives. Laptops have the desktop application and back up to the cloud (everywhere), and to a network drive when in the office.
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