Many people rarely back up their home PCs or know how to recover data in the event of a failure — implying that distributed teams may need to invest in these systems and processes.
And as Macrium Software growth strategist Erin Osborne points out in a company blog, successful backup entails a functioning system of data recovery and restoration.
She cites a famous example from the making of the animated Pixar film Toy Story 2 [character Buzz Lightyear, pictured above].
“One fateful day they noticed a few of the files had gone missing. After refreshing the folder, more files were gone. Files vital to the animations of Woody, Buzz and the rest of the gang were disappearing,” Osborne says.
“Someone on the team, somewhere, had inadvertently run a command at the root level of the production, recursively travelling through the directory and deleting everything in its path. By the time they shut down the main servers to stop it in its tracks, 90% of the film was gone.”
Pixar reportedly wasn’t checking whether its backup systems and processes were actually working. When the team went to restore the data, they learned they had used all available storage. Each backup was simply bumping older content off the drive.
“After a week of trying to recover the full film, encountering a host of errors and missing files, they realised they couldn’t have any confidence in their backed up files,” she says. “This near-disaster could have been avoided.”
Restoration processes should be checked and carried out regularly, Osborne notes. In addition, organisations should all maintain at least three copies of sufficiently up-to-date data, backed up on a schedule according to need.
Backups should not all be stored on one hard drive or a single server. At least one copy should be kept in external storage, isolated from network threats. This might be as simple as regularly backing up to a USB stick.
A copy should also be stored off-site, to guard against disasters such as fires or floods. This might be via a cloud service, or on a physical hard drive in a different building.
In other news, Macrium has announced that Macrium Reflect 7.3 will no longer use Windows Task Scheduler (WTS), which had caused problems in relation to biannual Windows releases as well as daylight savings.
Instead, Reflect 7.3 will use the Site Manager scheduler for parallel backups of hundreds of endpoints per instance.