Bartow County Director of Technology Mark Bagnell said he believes the failure in Rome schools to be a hardware failure and explained the county’s method of action to address a hardware failure.
“What we have in place is, one we do nightly back ups that we do in-house and at the end of the week we get a week’s worth of those digital copies and we move them over to tape,” Bagnell said, adding there also are backups kept off-site in the case of a significant disaster. “We have backups of our backups dating back six months if need be.”
He said if there is a software malfunction, the county can retrieve data lost within a short period of time.
“If we had simply a database corruption, there’s built into Power School [a data retrieval program called Flashback], and say the database was corrupted or deleted somehow, we can go back 15 minutes and recover data lost,” Bagnell said.
This summer, the Cartersville school board approved the purchase of $102,659 in new computer equipment with the intent of providing stronger parameters in protecting data ranging from student grades to finances.
The equipment includes hardware and software to replace the school system’s existing 23 computer servers with four servers and will be located at the central office and technology building. Current servers are spread throughout the city’s schools, central office and technology building.
Superintendent Howard Hinesley said the decision to replace the servers came after a recent state audit that showed the servers being vulnerable and potentially accessible to users outside of the school system’s technology department.
Bagnell said one of the most important ways of securing data is to make as many back ups as possible.
“As with any data, I don’t care who you are, you need to back up your data,” Bagnell said. “When teachers add grades to their grade books, they have an opportunity to print out hard copies of what they need, and I’ve always encouraged our staff, whether it’s in our grading system or just on their local hard drive, back it up.
“If it’s important to you, back it up so you have another copy somewhere.”