Backup, Santa Clara’s $600,000 Data Loss, and Causes

What is a backup worth?  Well, in the case of Santa Clara Housing Authority, losing 12% of its backup records was recently called out as costing the agency $600,000.

The Santa Clara Housing Authority recently announced that it had lost 1.6 million records (which constituted about 12%) of its backup records.  The agency stated that both a hardware and software backup system failed.

It will cost an estimated $600,000 for a small army of contractors to reconstruct the records and reload the records into its backup system.

The agency has also reached an agreement with the federal government calling out steps to be taken to attempt to insure this type of backup problem won’t happen in the future. Potential remedies include buying up to $1 million worth of new hardware and software, though it’s possible the agency’s vendors may be on the hook for some of those costs.

Vertical Integration, Backup, Archiving, D2D2D, D2D2T, and D2D2x

I’d love to say that this is an isolated incident; however, the truth is that the only thing unusual about this incident is the fact that it occurred at a governmental agency and was disclosed publicly.  This kind of thing happens every day.  What’s the primary cause?  Typically it’s a bunch of well-meaning people who are micro-optimizing various aspects of their backup environment and losing site of their overall backup and disaster recovery architecture.  It’s easy to do.  After all, if you’re responsible for integration disparate hardware and software solutions, and if you get caught up in worrying about the details of backup and disaster recovery.

This is one of the reasons I’m such a proponent of D2D2x – or disk-to-disk-to-any.  This includes disk-to-disk-to-disk, disk-to-disk-to-tape, disk-to-disk-to-cloud.

Quite often people think that D2D2x architectures have to be exclusive – in other words, that when you deploy your backup and disaster recovery architecture you are constrained to choose only a single attribute of D2D2x.  It’s not true.  What you end up doing is making choices regarding what type of disaster recovery and archiving that you require – and these typically work in concert with each other.  So rotational archiving via D2D2D is possible while also working with private single-tenant or public multiple-tenant clouds.

No one likes to see their tax dollars go to waste.  And no one believes that any organization, governmental or private, is perfect.  So I hope that when it’s all said and done that Santa Clara Housing Authority finds a backup and disaster recovery architecture that offers them the freedom and flexibility to create a solution that ensures enough redundancy such that this type of thing doesn’t occur again.

More Links on this Story:

San Jose Mercury News

TG Daily



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