There’s a joke in our company between development and me. I ask how quickly we can get some new backup feature done. The senior developers tell me the answer. I, of course, want it done more quickly than they tell me so I ask how we can accelerate the feature. The senior developers then tell me that I can have the backup feature exactly when I wish but there won’t be any recovery of data – just backup.
The point of the joke, of course, is that it’s stupid to deliver backup without recovery – that in fact recovery is more important than backup despite the fact that backup is used so much more than recovery.
With that said, I found the announcement that EMC’s Mozy was now shipping EMC’s Iomega drives for the initial Mozy backup to be performed to be…well…rather interesting. The drives, called “Mozy Data Shuttle,” allow what we call “seeding” of the data into the Mozy online data service.
What I found so interesting in all of this is nowhere was recovery discussed. Not a single, freaking word about recovery.
Recovery is the hard part of backup. Recovery means that when you put data into the “cloud,” you have to be able to get that data out and get it out quickly enough to get your business back up and running. You have to be able to get not only files back but entire servers, storage units, application data, and the like.
We get a good bit of business from people using these online services once they have a significant problem. All of a sudden, they realize – belatedly – that backup without recovery is pretty useless.