The royalty administrator is responsible for ensuring that the royalty software data is protected against loss. Recovering from a data loss is expensive and time consuming.
Hard drives are mechanical devices which will fail at some point in their life. Computers can be damaged by power surges. Laptops can be stolen. Backup devices can fail and online backup services can go out of business.
Storing copies of your royalty software data files in multiple formats minimizes the chance that you will not be able to restore your royalty data. We recommend the 3-2-1 backup strategy where you have 3 copies of your important files with 2 copies stored on different media with an additional copy stored online.
Level 1: Online Backup (Daily)
An online backup service will automatically copy your royalty data to their off-site storage location and store up to 30 days worth of backup files.
Do not rely only on one online backup service for all your file backups. In 2008 cloud storage provide FlexiScale was offline for several days due to an employee error. In 2009 Carbonite filed a lawsuit that made public the temporary loss of data access for 7,500 customers and about 54 customers experienced some data loss. In 2011 the Amazon cloud experienced a crash that caused a few companies to lose some of their stored data. All online SaaS vendors are likely to experience a system crash at some point in time.
Online backup services include:
Level 2: USB Backup Drive (Daily)
Add a USB backup drive to your online backup to provide quick access to your data files. It might take a few hours to several days to download a large royalty software file from an online backup service. This same file can be restored in minutes from a local USB backup drive. Companies in a flood zone or a hurricane region should consider an ioSafe fire and waterproof USB drive for data storage. USB drives from Seagate and Western Digital come with backup software.
Backup software applications for your USB backup drive includes:
- Genie Timeline
- Windows 8 File History
- Nova Backup
- Acronis True Image
Level 3: Offline USB Drive backup
Royalty software data should be periodically copied to a second USB drive that is disconnected from computer equipment after the backup is completed. This protects the drive from powers surges. The USB drive can be an external USB hard drive, a portable USB hard drive or a flash drive.
Level 4: Backup to Archival Rated DVD (Optional)
At the start of each quarter we recommend some clients backup their royalty software data and royalty contract files to an archival rated DVD for permanent storage.
Whereas a standard DVD has a shelf life of 2 to 5 years, an archival grade DVD has an estimated life of 100+ years. Store the DVD in a fire and waterproof safe. Discs should be stored vertically in standard sized jewel cases. Do not store discs in paper or plastic sleeves because they 1) provides little physical protection, 2) can interact chemically with the disk, and 3) can scratch the disc surface.
Archival rated DVD brands include:
- Verbatim Ultralife Gold Archival Grade
- Kodak Gold Preservation
- Delkin Archival Gold
We recommend that users store their royalty software data file on storage devices running in a RAID 1 configuration. In this configuration all data is copied; mirrored, to a second drive. If one drive fails the user can continue to process royalties and generate royalty statements using the working drive. When the failed drive is replaced the data is replicated to the new drive.
Raid devices can be external direct access storage (DAS) device or network attached storage (NAS) device. DAS devices are attached directly to the user’s personal computer. NAS devices attach to the users internet router.
Direct Access Storage
- Drobo 5D
- LaCie 2Big
- RAIDON SafeTank
- Western Digital MyBook Duo
Network Attached Storage
- Drobo 5N
- Seagate NAS
- Synology NAS