The Need for Tape

  • Luckily I have not yet been through such a disaster but my customers have. I had a customer whose office was nearly wiped out by a hurricane. Another suffered smoke and water damage because the office one flight up had a fire. One had their computer system stolen. Another had a deer (Yup. Bambie's dad. Antlers and all.) come crashing through a window, rampaged through the office space destroying the primary server, and bolted out through (without opening it) the front door. More than one suffered drive failures in the main server.

    This was when I worked for a company that wrote software for dentists. No SQL server, it was long ago. Still, we had disaster recovery in mind and taught the procedures. It's not the tools or technology. It's the mind set of the people using the tools and technologies. Your stuff will fail. What do you do when it happens? I'll give people a break though. Preparing for end of the world scenarios should not be high on the list. Atomic war or the end of the Mayan calendar (I think that they just ran out of paper) will cause you to spend too much resources and make the management look at you as a nut case.

    Fire, flood, sabotage. Those sort of things you have to prepare for. You have a plan to get your people out, right? People first, data second. Well I can't run back into a flooded building and START a backup. I'll have to rely on my off-site.

    He said, "All three accelerometers in the rocket sled CAN"T have been installed backwards!" right before they introduced him to Sergent Murphy.

    ATBCharles Kincaid

  • Encrypt your data backups.

    Store the certificates used to encrypt your backups somewhere else but equally secure.

    Limit access to both the certificates and the backups to a tightly and formally designed audience.

    Legal barriers? I'm sure any lawyers wondering how they're going to pay for the 3rd mistresses BMW convertible will be delighted by that. The problem with legal redress is that it happens AFTER the offence. It's no comfort to know that my murderer will get hung, I'm still dead even though it will stop the swine reoffending!

    People commit crimes for a number of reasons but factored into it is the belief that they can get away with it. Albert Pierrepoint (often referred to as Britains last hangman) had to hang someone who was a member of his social circle. His comment was that the guys still comitted the crime even knowing who Albert was and what he did, thus calling into question the infallibility of a detterent punishment.

  • I really like this distinction between push and pull when it comes to backup processes.

    I gues it's also important that you don't do both on the same machine, i.e. machines B pulls backup from A and pushes it to C.

    Thus A should push it to B and C should pull it from B.

    Have I got this right?

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