When things go bad, you start spending…

After reading TK’s latest blog about “When things go bad, you start thinking…,” I’d like to add a few observations. I am the Office Manager in question and I wish I could say TK made up my flooding experience in the interest of blog-worthiness, but it’s entirely true. The parallels between my experience and not backing up data are eerie and many and include:

Post-disaster spending exceeds pre-disaster defensive spending by far

We think our problem was caused by a toilet that “runs� if the handle gets in a certain position—I’m sure you’ve seen this before. The condition was fairly rare, but it had happened on this toilet before. If we had taken the time and spent the money to buy the kit that fixes this (costs around $20), we could have averted the whole incident. Instead, we’re now at the mercy of the disaster recovery company, and while we do have insurance, there are deductibles and such that need to be paid. When a catastrophic event occurs with your data, it can be very costly to recover if you don’t have backup, and some companies never recover completely. Don’t put yourself at the mercy of the disaster recovery people when your servers crash—backup your software before you need it!

Post-disaster, money that was not there pre-disaster to fix a problem suddenly appears in the budget

We have seen this at Zmanda before. A company will call that currently does not have money in their budget to cover backing up their machines, but they would like to know what it will cost. Several months later, they call back after losing all their data and money is no object! In my family’s case, we were claiming our time budget didn’t allow for fixing the toilet. Now, we’ve spent many hours cleaning, and have countless hours of recovering ahead. If you’re in charge of company data systems and management is claiming there’s no money and/or time available for proper backup, make them see the light—they can spend a little now or a lot later! And, Zmanda community edition is available for free, but give me the security of the enterprise edition any day.

Expecting 12 and 14-year-olds to remember to observe whether or not the toilet is running is not realistic

The connection here to data backup may not be obvious, but I think there is one. My two sons had instructions to check the handle to make sure the toilet was not running after flushing it, but apparently one of them forgot (of course, “I didn’t do it!� resounded throughout the house). People are fallible and mistakes are made, and it only takes one mistake for all your data to be lost. Don’t trust to chance and memory!

Our family will recover from this incident and as we like to say, “It’s not that bad—no one was hurt and nothing precious was lost.â€? But I can assure you, I will never again let a running toilet go unfixed!

(Note my restraint at not pointing out similarities between toilet backup and data backup, CYA, and other obvious puns…)

Comments are closed.