Daily Illuminator

January 11, 2006: Backup Stress

Backups, as they say, are not mission critical. RESTORES are mission critical.

But you can't do a restore if you don't have a backup, and today's stress point was the failure of our office's backup server. We had just replaced the finicky and annoying Retrospect software with a new-to-us package called Bacula, and it turned out, after hours of poking, that Bacula was at fault; apparently it had been handed too many large files, and had choked and died and not even dropped a buoy to tell the sysadmins what was killing it.

Feh.

We have learned the hard way that what is not backed up WILL be lost, so this isn't a problem we can shrug off. But you'd think that since everyone needs backups, there would be some really bulletproof solutions out there. At home, I just copy everything onto a separate Seagate drive every couple of days. Even that is not bulletproof, but unless the drive goes bad without warning, at the same time that my internal hard drive dies, it's pretty safe. (I think. Said Steve with paranoia.)
-- Steve Jackson

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