I'm a one-man shop.
Have a few separate computer systems:
- Primary desktop workhorse where 90% of my work is completed.
- Laptop, capable of some work (apps installed), but in general used for communication, etc while traveling
- Various tablets/smart phones never really used for "work" but maybe communication.
This past weekend I had what appears to be a video card issue in my primary system. I can work, but it's taken me from 3-30" monitors down to 1 monitor. Still able to work, but I feel exceptionally hobbled.
I live in a small town and can't just run out for a new video card - ordered one online but it'll be 2 days before it arrives.
So, my main workstation is crippled, but functional.
This got me to wondering. What if the main system died entirely and was unusable. What's a good backup plan for such an instance?
I can't always stall for 3-4 days and wait for a new system, then spend 3-4 more days installing software, etc/ to get it in working condition. A week of unscheduled unavailability is generally far too much.
I'm hesitant to just set up a second system as a backup due to costs. I'd really never need it except in emergencies but cost for the hardware/software licenses could easily approach 5 figures. That seems untenable from a business perspective. In the past I've used the laptop for a week while waiting on a new system. But due to the speed of technology, the laptop is now out of date and possibly underpowered. It could be used, but it would probably mean working at less than 30% of my normal speed.
Data isn't an issue. I have triple redundant backups and even with a complete utter system failure I can be back up and running in a day at most if the hardware is functional.
I have tons of spare hard drives. So if a drive dies, I'm covered.
I have an extra HDTV that, in a pinch, can be used as a (horrible) monitor.
But what about actual hardware failures - CPU, video card, power supplies, etc.?
(Note I'm a Mac-based office. Always have been [20+ years]. So, it's not like I can have an extra power supply for my MacPro laying around.)
I'm thinking about possibly something like an iMac.. but spending a couple grand for a system I don't really need is troubling me.
If there were a place local that rented systems, I'd consider that. One-day rental of an adequate system runs in the neighborhood of $300 though. That seems ridiculous. In fact for a week of rental I may as well buy another system.
How to do you prepare for unforeseen equipment issues?