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Buying spare computer capacity

Buying backup IT equipment for my business



1:41 am on Aug 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I am a one man business (consultancy) and I used to have lots of Macs and PCs lying about the place.

These days I find that I can do most of my work on just the one portable - a high end MacBook Pro.

Using virtual PCs I can test websites under all sorts of conditions, OS X is stable enough so that I can run all my applications without issues.. etc. etc.

Bit by bit I have abandoned all my old boxes and portables and it suddenly dawned on me that if this machine died suddenly or was lost, I would need to go out and buy a new one. But the model I use is customised, so that might take a delay of several days for delivery.

All my data is backed up, so thatís not an issue, but from the hardware side of things I realised that I didnít really have an up to date machine.

So hereís my dilemma.

1. Go out and buy a similar machine to have on standby (which leaves me with a high spec portable lying idle)?

2. Buy a low end machine, just for emergencies?

3. Do nothing and just hire a machine if I have to (there are numerous issues with this one)?

What do other people do?


1:47 am on Aug 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Servers tend to die as a surprise. Laptops and desktops tend to die with lots of warning - you see it coming. Keep lots of current backups and make sure you know how to reinstall the data and leave it at that. If the machine starts to die, you've got time. If it dies suddenly, well you're a day or so getting up and going. Probably not going to happen but if it does, look at it as a day or two off.


8:26 am on Aug 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well, servers also die with warnings. But you need to take a look every now and then as you usually do not work on a server console. Just get into the habit of checking eventlogs on a weekly basis, at least.


9:39 am on Aug 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

make sure you know how to reinstall the data and leave it at that

Make also sure that the data is restorable. Have akind of test environment where you can retore the data to and check it with your applications. No backup helps when you cannot access it or the data is corrupted.


5:51 pm on Aug 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Thanks all.

The backup is not an issue. Nor is the server.

Its just a question of being prepared in the event of a hardware issue with (or loss of) my lsptop.


4:33 pm on Aug 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

having a portable as your main machine is kinda risky to begin with. You can have it stolen, drop it, spill something on it, etc etc etc. those little 2.5 drives also have a shorter life span.

Yes i understand everything is backed up but its just a more fragile unit to begin with.

Backed up desktop - portable on the go.

normally if the stuff is really really really really important and uptime is of most importance its nice to have a clone of the hardware sitting around waiting until disaster happens.


5:51 am on Aug 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Yes indeed, I do have a clone backup. So, from a getting up and running again point of view i could theoretically just buy a new machine and be up and running in as long as it takes to copy 400gb of data across a FireWire 800 cable.

As to it being my main machine, being a consultant who works onsite at a few locations, thats unavoidable.

Sure, i was considering buying a desktop as well. But it wouldnt solve my replacement hardware issue. The bavkup hardware needs to be a Mac and it needs to be portable.

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