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cautionary tale

 
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: cautionary tale  Reply with quote

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8049780.stm

In essence they relied on backups between servers. This is not unusual practice and has at times been part of our own backup strategy. But you can never place all bets on servers that are the same configuration and the same target of hackers. Backups always have to be sent somewhere independent, maybe not everyday (ours are BTW) but certainly at intervals.
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Their backup strategy was a recipe for failure. I am saddened for the site's ownership, but wonder why they thought localized backup was a viable strategy.
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not justifying it. But the reasoning may be a combination of the following.

1) 95% of the time, hackers want to deface a server for kudos, or compromise a server for criminal activity. They don't wipe servers.
2) Backups are a PITA. Take ourselves ignoring the restores we do because people have let their forums be trashed, we have had zero use for the backup system. The one disk failure we have had was handled seamlessly by shutting down the server replacing the disk, and letting the RAID system automatically reboot itself.

So over 4 years we have spent thousand of pounds in cash and effort, guarding against the apparent smallest of probabilities.

Thinking about it, I had a "no backup" serious issue after my work crashed and burned in a lightening storm 28 years ago, since then I have made backups a priority, and since then I don't think I have needed them for disaster recovery! That is probably a lucky run, but it does help me realize that there are still people in the industry who have never been burnt at all and therefore lack the need paranoia.
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Nothing like a disaster to kick of the paranoia though.

As I say we already backup to a non forums server which is itself backed up daily by the hosts own backup systems.

All the same I am now instigating a backup from that server to the office. This will be developed into a weekly or maybe monthly routine.
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If any of you guys - maybe admin - are regulars over at webhostingtalk.com, their backup system was pretty much proven to be redundant, because their backup server was online 24/7, someone managed to wipe all their webservers and backups, they didn't do offsite for months, so they lost quite a lot of posts.

In my opinion, anything less than 4 different backup methods is sloppy, you can never backup too much.
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are you counting?

We have:

1) RAID
2) Daily offsite
3) The offsites are backup by that host
4) I'm running an offsite on the offsite

Plus of course we do manage restores on a regular basis when admins allow there forums to be trashed. This is important because garbage in garbage out rules with backups.

One war story I read today was about someone going to a place to do disaster recovery and being handed one floppy disk   When asking where the rest were? The answer was they only had the one... but didn't the backup system ask for another disk to be inserted? Yes, but we only had the one so....
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just too funny!

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see the offsite of the offsite being a monthly exercise. Okay there were some teething troubles, but the basic fact is that it is still not quite completed.

Given the sheer paranoid nature of such a backup of a backed up backup   there really is no sense in making this a weekly distraction.
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The offsite offsite only finally got completed (and tested) today. Even now the tricks of the procedure are known, it is plainly going to take several days to double offsite all the offsites. So definitely a once a month exercise.


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