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2/27/2008
10:11 PM
Howard Marks
Howard Marks
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Fireproof Storage? I Don't Get It

Over the past couple of years ioSafe, Sentry, and Schwab have introduced a new generation of backup targets, fireproof storage. A Frankenstein like crossbreeding of USB hard drive or NAS and fireproof safe, they can protect your backups against fire, flood (as they're waterproof, too) and gloom of night. Last Interop our own Steve Hill drove out to the desert with the friendly folks from ioSafe, poured a flammable liquid on one of there NAS boxes and had himself a nice little computer barbecue s

Over the past couple of years ioSafe, Sentry, and Schwab have introduced a new generation of backup targets, fireproof storage. A Frankenstein like crossbreeding of USB hard drive or NAS and fireproof safe, they can protect your backups against fire, flood (as they're waterproof, too) and gloom of night. Last Interop our own Steve Hill drove out to the desert with the friendly folks from ioSafe, poured a flammable liquid on one of there NAS boxes and had himself a nice little computer barbecue so they could demonstrate that the data inside laughs at fire. Cool I thought but why?Even if all it took was pulling the box out of the rubble and plugging it in to restore your backups, I wouldn't recommend a fireproof hard drive as your main line of defense for the SMB customers these vendors are pitching. They're still vulnerable to theft (OK, less because of their weight), and crazy disgruntled employees (See D'oh! I Should Have Made A Backup #1 earlier in this fine blog.)

But lets look at the fire scenario. You run a backup to the fireproof storage Friday at 6 p.m. Sunday at 3 a.m. your office building catches fire. The fire department, buildings department, and fire marshals investigating possible arson (Morris on the 3rd floor wasn't doing so well and owed some money) finally give you access or pull the hard drive/safe out and give it to you Tuesday at 3 p.m.

If you had an online backup account, you could start restoring as soon as you knew and recover the scanned copy of your insurance policy before kickoff.

Add in that Schwab, known for making quality safes, charges more than $2,000 for a 320-GB device and that $200 a month for online backup looks to me like a better idea.

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