Send in the Clones

Everyone should have a clone, and everyone would, if they weren’t so complicated. Their uses are abundant. With a clone of you in your closet or in the freezer, you can have a ready source of spare body parts, and a ready spare should a piano fall on your head.  But clones are difficult to make, hard to upkeep, and they are expensive to boot. Still, life would be a whole lot easier if you were, needless to say, immortal, and in the time of need it would be great if we could just send in the clones.

For a company, its brains, and therefore its life, is its data processing system. And naturally, it wants its data systems to be immortal. That means that its life span has no discontinuity, it simply runs forever, and without a hiccup. But unlike human beings, who are ok with memory loss as they live from moment to moment, a business wants to preserve all of those moments, or retain all of that data, forever.

The good news is that this is pretty simple to do, and inexpensive as well. The bad news is that it’s not explained very well, so when you think you are getting a clone, you actually end up with only an arm and a leg, and the cost of an arm and leg when you realize your mistake after your system crashes. So, instead of getting a full backup, your back ends up against the wall.

So, let us define our terms. Back up refers to discrete things we save, from photos, to messages, to spread sheets. Full metal backup is different, it backs up all of your data as well as the operating systems, and software that runs it. A full metal backup is a clone of your data processing system, stored in an offset data center or ‘cloud’ that you own, or provided publicly by the likes of Microsoft (Azure) or Amazon (AWS). Full metal backups are also easy and cheap to do, have minimal hardware requirements (usually a cheap network storage device, or NAS) and an Amazon account, and can be restored to a local server. Human clones provide lifestyle continuity and aren’t just backups but true life savers. Similarly, cloning the client server to a duplicate data site can save the life of an enterprise,  and give it the business continuity it needs to survive inevitable crises  It saves everything, forgets nothing, and if you want to restore that file that you deleted way back in the Jurassic age, you can, and if you want to restore your system to what it was in 1895, you can do that too. Clones are surprisingly easy to make, upkeep, are cheap to boot, and of course it is easy to boot them up.

The key is to specify to your vendor that you want this, and that they can back up, pun intended, their claims. If not, shop around, as not all IT vendors are clones.