Pittsburgh’s IT Service and Support Specialists


Pittsburgh, Cranberry, Greensburg, Indiana
Uniontown and throughout Southwestern PA

Archiving Your Digital World


Backup. Archiving. Retrieval. Say these words and watch the eyes of your audience glaze over as if the subjects were trans lunar orbital velocity and advanced calculus.

Do you feel the same?

Only in an emergency does anyone care about the safety of his or her data, and that’s the key. Data backup is an impersonal idea. It quickly becomes personal when payroll comes around and Joe in Accounting finds his QuickBooks or Peachtree files have gone south. A hard drive failure leaves Mary’s team without a vital mail merge database, and meanwhile, in the front office, Chris has accidentally saved an old contract over the new one he has been working on for two weeks. These glitches and flubs might be amusing, if they were not costing you money.

Virus damage, power outages, and accidental deletions: all take their toll. And when it is your monthly budget that dissolves into a jumble of irreconcilable bits and bytes, a reliable backup suddenly seems a treasure worth having.

Yet even companies that have invested in expensive tape backup can find these older systems slow to use and cumbersome for recovery. Tapes are often better at recovering from major system failures, or catastrophes such as fire, than rescuing a secretary’s missing Word template. It can be a nightmare to find out that, "Yes, that file is backed up, but we cannot afford the time to set up a restore just for you."

Disk-to-Disk, a Personal Approach

Maintaining tape backups can involve such tasks as identifying and retrieving tape volumes, monitoring tape ID codes, loading and unloading tapes, and inventory management. When restoring lost data, it takes time to track things down and set up a recovery. It’s in your best interest to make the process as fast and painless as possible, even to the point of empowering employees with their own, personal, disk-to-disk backups.

Affordable disk-to-disk storage is here, with excellent solutions for large and small businesses alike. The concept is simple: additional hard drives that maintain copies of your data, leaving it as accessible as it was on your primary drive. Ease of backup, ease of recovery, and complete usability by even novice PC users are the hallmarks of this technology.

Seagate Backup Plus - for simple, workstation backups

The Seagate Backup Plus family of external drives lets you protect everything in your digital life and manage it all from a single, intuitive dashboard.  And they work super fast!

With Backup Plus you can:

  • Choose from two easy backup options for what’s important to you
  • Share multiple media files on networks like Facebook and Flickr
  • Save the photos you’ve shared online automatically
  • Upgrade your connection in a snap with swappable upgrade adapters

The Backup Plus systems range from under $150 to under $200 and boast up to 4 Terabytes of storage space.  (The first 1 terabyte drive was introduced in 2007 for around $400!)

Norton GhostNorton™ Ghost - for disaster recovery

Norton™ Ghost offers professional grade backup and recovery at a modest price (under $70).  It protects your applications, settings, folders, and files.  Ghost safeguards your data files with automatic backups, takes periodic snapshots of your entire computer hard drive to be able to completely restore your computer system to a specific backup version, and automatically backs up when online threats raise an increased need to save the latest version of your system

Network administrators admire the capabilities of Norton™ Ghost too, knowing it can clone, deploy, configure, back up, restore, and distribute software specific images to network and mobile PC’s alike.

Network Attached Storage

For larger companies, the solution of choice is an Iomega® NAS (Network Attached Storage) server. With capacities as high as 720 gigabytes, NAS servers add high-volume, high-availability storage within existing network infrastructures. Using RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) technology, these systems are fast and capable when it comes to protecting your entire network of information. Gigabytes of data can be recovered in minutes. As the name suggests, multiple drives are used in various backup schemes, safeguarding your data so thoroughly that even a failure on one or more of the NAS system’s own drives cannot destroy your company’s information.

Are Tape Backups Obsolete?

According to Freeman Reports, tape drive sales continue rise at about 4% per year. Only the purpose is changing. As companies accumulate more and more information, a need has developed to stockpile huge amounts of dormant, or inactive data. Active data is defined as the frequently used, business critical information we work with every day. Inactive data represents old records, such as billing and customer service information from years past. These records may be valuable for historical or research projects, but are rarely accessed. Relying on tape for these purposes keeps disk storage and disk backup systems free for swift access to current projects.

Use Shiloh To Find The Right Backup Solution

With over thirty years experience, Shiloh is the place to turn to find the backup strategy that’s right for you. Shiloh services over 1000 corporate customers and maintains systems as small as two machines to fifty and more networked PCs. We understand budgets and work to find affordable solutions that offer all the protection you need. Shiloh has the experience to not only recommend the right equipment, but to establish solid backup protocols, like offsite storage of mission critical data, ensuring that your business will run smoothly, in spite of the obstacles. Give Shiloh a call today.  


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