My phone rang and I picked it up.
"I just deleted my entire accounting system." He sounded frantic. I could empathize. I imagined the panic that he probably felt at having lost his entire database of a couple of hundred employees. "Do you have the backup?" he asked.
"Of course. Which directory did you lose?" I quickly logged in to the remote backup server.
This particular client does stevedoring mainly for car cargo. Because of the way he deals with the union he has hundreds of employees in his system. Re-entering them would have been a nightmare. Frankly, I believe he felt that all was lost. There would be no way he was going to come back from this. In the IT world, backups are notoriously unreliable. They become unmaintained. No one has the time to test them. They become low priority as the risk is assumed to be low.
But when things go wrong, it all comes rushing back. The fear that a critical step has been overlooked now haunts all of management. Did we test this? Did the software lapse or somebody damage the data on the tape drives? Who has the CD's? Did the software lapse?
"Okay, here's your directory. You want last night's backup?"
The panic subsided. I could still tell there was a little bit of skepticism, but I figured we would fix that in no time. "Yes, last night is fine. The only thing I did today was erase the entire database."
"Give me a couple of minutes to synchronize the directory. Please exit the program while I restore it." We chatted a little bit about his business, payroll taxes, employee deductions. He liked the way this particular program allowed him to do all his employee W2 and local payroll taxes without having to contract it out. It was maybe a little too easy to delete everything, but then that is where Altamente comes in. Altamente provides an automated remote backup service that is managed by their Altabox network appliance. No need to worry about CD's, tapes or software licenses.
"There you go," I said. "You're all back up and running. Go ahead and enter your program to verify that everything is okay."
"Just a sec... oh, will you look at that. It's all here. Thanks. You just saved my life."
"I appreciate that. It makes me feel good to have been useful."
And in the spirit of John "Hannibal" Smith I say, "I love it when a plan comes together."
If you would like the Altamente team (A-team) to help you with your company's back up plan, please fill out this request form or give us call at 787-638-5380.