X

Sign Up

or

By signing up I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions


Already a PT member? Log In

Sign Up

Sign Up With Facebook, Twitter, or Google

or


By signing up, I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions


Already a PT member? Log In

Log In

or


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Forgot Password

To reset your password just enter the email address you registered with and we'll send you a link to access a new password.


Already a PT member? Log In

Don't have an account? Sign Up

  • Technology

    Storage of Vital Documents

    Hi all,

    I was involved in a discussion on FB last night on this important subject.

    To cut a long story short, I lost access to my business email and cloud storage facilities for 2 months last year.

    A one point, I seriously thought I had lost access for good. That was when I really panicked!

    I honestly don't believe you know how important some information is until you lose access to it.

    Fortunately, I did eventually regain access and have personally taken backups of all my vital data.

    I just wondered what other Tribers do with their vital data?

    1
    0

    I may be a bit unique within the tribal family in so much as I work with software every day so my regime is quite overengineered and is meant for the business as a whole, but by sharing it with you, you may be able to cherry pick some ideas that you like.

    This is what we do:

    For data held on PCs

    • All machines are backup up to a virtual server in our office incrementally (this means as you change a file it is automatically backed up)
    • All changes are stored for 30 days so you can roll a change back to a previous file in the last 30 days
    • The virtual server is then backed up to another machine in the office
    • That machine carries out hourly snapshot backups to the cloud which is also kept for 30 days we use something called CrashPlan but there are many solutions out there.

    For email

    Email is generally served by a webserver/email server. There are normally two protocols that are used for email collection POP and IMAP.

    POP is a protocol that you use on your machine that asks for the email server to send it any mail it has received since last asking. The problem with this is once you have the email similar to the post man the server no longer has a copy of it. (this can be changed with some settings but is not always the case)

    With IMAP you merely get to view and act upon the email the original stays on the server at all times.

    The benefit of IMAP is it allows for multiple devices to view and action the same email like a PC and a smart phone, unlike with POP if the PC collects the mail the phone will not see it anymore

    • As such all our email is stored online and we use a mail protocol called IMAP so no mail exists offline. This means that mail can be viewed by multiple devices and it is permanently in sync.
    • This mail server is backed up incrementally to a third-party data centre as above. We actually use Amazon S3 storage, for this which is totally unconnected to our main email host.

    This whole approach means that if we have a faulty machine it is restorable within a matter of an hour. If we have a fire in the office, we can restore the main servers and then subsequently each machine within a few days. If we just end up with corrupt files we can resolve that in anything from a few minutes to a few hours. As our mail is always kept online we don’t have any of the real-world issues such as fire to worry about but corruption etc. is handled by the regular backups of the email server.

    The trick with all of this is to look for redundancies and fail-safes, which is why we use unconnected companies for backing up one another.

    With the exception of the hardware expense we spend about £400 per annum to handle the above.

    I hope this helps but please feel free to ask any questions.

    ;-)

    0
    0

    Landlord with 25 years’ experience in the property market and a specialist in tenant referencing ID and credit screening. Creator of identity, credit and anti-money laundering system ValidID.co.uk

    Hi Chris,

    Great system!

    I worked in IT for over 25 years before becoming a full time landlord, so have a very good understanding of the technology you describe.

    As I'm just a smallish landlord, you're system would be a bit of an overkill for me!

    I think the point I was trying to make was never have just one place for your data even if it's on the cloud - even Microsoft can screw up!

    However, your point about version control is very important too and I have to be very careful about that.

    1
    0

    I do hope you didn't feel I was teaching you how to suck eggs Dom.

    I agree with you, we also felt that the point of failure will always be one company and we have also experienced these failures with both Amazon and Microsoft which is why we never rely solely on one of them.

    The good thing is, in light of the fact that technology has moved on in recent years and the prices have become more competitive it is much easier and cost effective for normal users to have almost military grade solutions for domestic money.

    0
    0

    Landlord with 25 years’ experience in the property market and a specialist in tenant referencing ID and credit screening. Creator of identity, credit and anti-money laundering system ValidID.co.uk

    Not at all Chris!

    Your reply was very interesting and I have been out of the IT game for a few years now.

    I hope we've at least made of Tribers think a little bit about what the loss of vital data would do to their business - I know what it nearly did to mine!

    Thanks again

    Dom

    1
    0

    I hope they take note but you and I both know that people never see the true value of disaster recovery until they have to recover from a disaster.

    With the likes of viruses and web borne threats such as Crypto Locker along with the very real mundane issues of simple hardware failure, disasters are literally round every corner. Quite frankly and I hope people take note, one could hit any of us right now and all we would have is the measures we have in place to rectify and recover from it.

    At least you and I should be okay ;-)

    0
    0

    Landlord with 25 years’ experience in the property market and a specialist in tenant referencing ID and credit screening. Creator of identity, credit and anti-money laundering system ValidID.co.uk

    Yes Chris, it's scary out there!

    1
    0

    Everything saved on the cloud (Onedrive).

    Everything also saved on local hard drive.

    Have Paper copies of bank statements.

    I would think that is enough for most. 


    0
    0

    http://www.Rentcent.co.uk

    A blog and information source for buy to let landlords

    That's more or less what I do drdes.

    As I mentioned though, you do have to watch out for version control issues.

    0
    0

    I don't have version control issues since I am simply adding documents on an ongoing basis (invoices etc..), I am not replacing anything.

    0
    0

    http://www.Rentcent.co.uk

    A blog and information source for buy to let landlords

    Fair enough. I have several spreadsheets where I keep track of rental expenditure, mortgage details and documents listing trips to properties for mileage claims etc

    0
    0