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Zombie Data


Zombie Data

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Zombie Data

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Gary Varga
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This overlaps with my belief that all software systems should be delivered with a comprehensive decommissioning plan. By comprehensive I mean that it should cover all forms of data (including configuration, backups, etc.), hardware, software, manual processes and possibly much more besides.

Of course, a single application without data might be as comprehensive as running the uninstaller ;-)

Gaz

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Jim P.
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I worked for a bank for many years. The actual day-to-day servicing company would give us a monthly dump of all transactions by the customers for their checking, savings, mortgage and other accounts. We would keep a years worth online in a SQL DB and then every March I would copy the prior year's tables into a blank DB, delete it from the production and burn the backup to CD/DVD that went into two different vaults.

I had the whole procedure written out. The cover on the CD/DVD had a destroy date on them. I wonder if anyone has done it since I've been gone?

Because the data was subject to the IRS rules -- I hope they have and haven't been caught for not doing it.



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Jim P.

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David.Poole
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My first task in my first IT job was to take a lump hammer to a set of Wang minicomputer hard disks!

Probably my first experience of job satisfaction.

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I am curious how many people destroy the old backups that belong to no longer existent databases or that are well past the retention policy.

From looking at a few hundred client servers, I dare say very few people think to decommission those old backups once the database has been decommissioned.



Jason AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
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David.Poole
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@Jason, that is a very good point. Under the UK data protection act an individual can ask that their records be removed in certain conditions. Imagine having to remove individual records from backup tapes you may still need!

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Jim P.
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David.Poole (2/4/2014)
@Jason, that is a very good point. Under the UK data protection act an individual can ask that their records be removed in certain conditions. Imagine having to remove individual records from backup tapes you may still need!

I asked our legal counsel about that issue. Such as the person that opened and closed the account within a year and should have "technically" been purged in 2009 but was still in the mass of data from 2010.

The legal view, written down to cover my butt, was that in the mass of data it was not an issue. But if that data were to be subpoenaed it technically did not exist beyond a certain date in the sense it could not be revealed or provided to the courts or any of the litigants.

Most courts understand that this is how it works. Now if the data was to be subpoenaed by the courts before the purge period, you have a responsibility to retain it until the courts no longer need it regardless of the purge dates.



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David.Poole (2/4/2014)
@Jason, that is a very good point. Under the UK data protection act an individual can ask that their records be removed in certain conditions. Imagine having to remove individual records from backup tapes you may still need!


Ouch!



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Eric M Russell
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It's too easy for human error and bias to filter and transform terrabytes and petabytes of data. Unless we also apply common sense, big data analytics will prove no more reliable than consulting spirit advisors or tea leaves.


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Steve Jones
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SQLRNNR (2/4/2014)
I am curious how many people destroy the old backups that belong to no longer existent databases or that are well past the retention policy.

From looking at a few hundred client servers, I dare say very few people think to decommission those old backups once the database has been decommissioned.


I agree. I've found lots of old backups laying around, especially on dev/test machines.

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