Backing up data can save you a lot of translation costs by preventing you from losing money. What happens if you delete your translations by accident?
Well, first of all, if you work with a reputable language service provider, they should be doing this for you and your documents should be properly archived in any case, but despite this, let’s talk about developing “back-up plan”
First of all, the strategy you use to back up your data should be written as a standard procedure that is implemented on a time-driven or event-driven basis.
Whether you have entire server towers and data centers full of data or just a mere desktop PC full of data, it is good idea to develop a schedule of when to perform backups. No, it is not usually necessary to make a back up of everything all the time. Break things up on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis according to importance.
For example, once a year, back it all up, every last bit, even if it takes several days. On a monthly basis, it is good to back up only a portion of the most important files. If certain files are deemed incredibly important, perform a backup once a week, or once a day, or once every hour. It all depends on the strategy you develop and how you tailor it to meet your needs.
In your standard procedures, indicate certain events that trigger data to be backed up, for example a loss of electricity, a computer on the fritz, a customer sending you really important data, etc. Upon occurrence of such an event, a backup should be made. It is as simple as that.
Organizing it all
Indicate in your procedures how long it takes to perform the backup you require and where the backups are going to be stored. Also, for each type of backup, determine and document the retention time of your backup files. In the event that data recovery is required, devise and document a plan on how to find and restore your data. Another important element would be deciding on what type of medium is required for storing your backup data. In the case of a small amount of data, you may be saving your data onto a stick or as an image file on a CD. In the case of a server, you most likely have a backup server of some sort. After you have decided upon a backup medium, decide on where that medium will be stored.
Another helpful way to organize your data entails having a proper configuration management strategy in place. Please see my post on configuration management for more details. It shows how a configuration management strategy can be implemented for storing translations.
Here is a piece of advice:
For REALLY important data, don’t forget to make a backup of your backup data!
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