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How Sterling IT survived a data disaster with external backups


Sterling IT is a company that provides IT services and solutions to various clients. In 2015, they faced a major data crisis when their vendor, who hosted their email and remote desktop servers, suffered a complete system failure and lost all their data. The vendor had promised to have geolocation backups, but they all failed as well. Fortunately, Sterling IT had their own external backups with different providers, and they were able to restore their clients’ data and operations. This story shows the importance of having external backups and not relying on the source provider alone.

The incident

Sterling IT had signed up with a vendor who claimed to have geolocation backups x 3, meaning that they would store their data in three different locations for redundancy and security. However, in 2015, the vendor experienced a catastrophic failure that wiped out all their data, including their backups. Sterling IT and their clients were left without access to their email and remote desktop servers, which were essential for their business operations. The vendor could not recover the data or provide any explanation for the failure.

The recovery

Luckily, Sterling IT had a habit of backing up their data to other providers, such as Dropbox, Cloudally, Barracuda, Datto, Crashplan Enterprise, and more. They did not trust the source provider or their backup tools, and they wanted to have a second copy of data elsewhere in case of a disaster. They were able to use their external backups to restore their data and get their clients back up and running on new providers. They also learned from the incident and improved their backup strategies and policies. They realized that having external backups was crucial for their business continuity and reputation.


Sterling IT’s story is a true example of how external backups can save a business from a data disaster. It also illustrates the risks of relying on the source provider or their backup tools, which may not be reliable or secure. Sterling IT advises other businesses to backup externally and not to trust the provider’s promises. They also recommend using multiple backup providers and methods, such as cloud, local, and hybrid backups, to ensure data protection and availability. By doing so, businesses can avoid data loss, downtime, and damage to their reputation and customer trust.

Watch below the importance of WHY we recommend 3rd party backups.

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