Got burgled, some thoughs regarding technology
May 18, 2011 by
Last week (sunday 8th of May) one of my friends broke his leg playing soccer, so we decided to go
visit him, as we got home at about 10:00PM I noticed a rather strange looking stick outside our flat
As we opened the door to our flat my wife noticed that the curtain by the door is pulled back and pieces of glass all
over the floor, a robber (probably one of the seven dwarfs, my guess is "Grumpy") broke a window (seen
below) and managed to climb through the burglar bars.
The robber got away with two laptops, a tablet, external drives and some of my wifes jewelry - all of it worth
around R 30 000 (about $ 4 300)
along with all my hard earned intellectual property (incl backups)
Incidently Jon Skeet
also got burgled a few weeks before
us (also lost some data)
All of this misfortune made me think about revising my backup strategy, its obviously not very clever to have all your
eggs in one basket (fire, theft, hardware failure etc)
, we can't afford having a single point of failure.
This makes a nice case for having your data somewhere on the server in the sky aka cloud, but this
doesn't mean that you're immune against the odd cloud burst ;), even google won't guarantee nor take responsibility
for your loss of data on their servers as seen in the following extract out of their terms of service
15. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
15.1 SUBJECT TO OVERALL PROVISION IN PARAGRAPH 14.1 ABOVE, YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT GOOGLE, ITS SUBSIDIARIES AND AFFILIATES, AND ITS LICENSORS SHALL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR:
(A) ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES WHICH MAY BE INCURRED BY YOU, HOWEVER CAUSED AND UNDER ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY.. THIS SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, ANY LOSS OF PROFIT (WHETHER INCURRED DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY), ANY LOSS OF GOODWILL OR BUSINESS REPUTATION, ANY LOSS OF DATA SUFFERED, COST OF PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES, OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSS;
Lets have a quick look at a few possible things to consider (consider I am no expert, just a few random thoughts)
Location, Location, Location
The biggest lesson I learned out of this experience is probably the physical location of
my backups e.g. needed an offsite backup strategy as well.
We can get a dedicated server, or use one of the many online services like Rsync.
(Or keep backups using removable harddrives at your office and home)
Type of data
I also noticed the amount of time I needed to re-install my software, to get everything
up and running again, service packs, patches etc (even now I am not even close to having
my development environment fully back to normal).
What a waste of time! Time I could have rather spent developing software.
Now instead of simply/solely having backups of my work, it would have been nice if I had an ISO or
something that contains everything I need to get up and running again - a simple restore there you go
As for my email, it would have made a lot more sense if I used IMAP instead of POP.
How often do we need to backup our data? Obviously critical/active data as often as possible.
Bandwidth (in context of offsite & frequency) is also something to consider (In my country
bandwidth is currently quite expensive) when looking at the frequency of backup (using a cloud strategy).
It would be ideal if we can revert back to a previous version of our data, if you or someone
else stuffed up :).
We need to verify that our backups are indeed running and not failing and take it seriously, hehehe.
We've got team foundation server at work, but I neglected to check everything in due to com failure.
Now I am just waiting for my insurance to process my claim, though I am not convinced that my insurance
is worth the money I am paying for it - perhaps rather invest i something thats not looking for a reason not to pay out ;)