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Famous Data Loss Disasters & How They Could Have Been Prevented
ByÂ RitchieÂ Fiddes, Sales Director,Â Backup Technology
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. If you have not learnt from theÂ dataÂ loss disasters that are reported from time to time in the media and made the effort to avert such disasters in your organization or personal life, you will soon be joining the doomed in the disaster bandwagon.
RedundancyÂ ofÂ backup is the secret guard against large scaleÂ dataÂ loss. Many savvy enterprises make sure thatÂ theirÂ missionÂ criticalÂ data is duplicated and re-duplicated for reasonsÂ ofÂ security and high availability. They use online backup service provider repositories, tape libraries, disk arrays, mirror servers and a hostÂ ofÂ other backup technologies to backup and store vital information. They create elaborate business continuity and disaster recovery plans that enable them to get the business up and running within a few hoursÂ ofÂ the disaster.
Let us look at someÂ ofÂ the famousÂ dataÂ disasters that should be learning to us.
ERP upgrade Disasters that led to temporaryÂ dataÂ loss
Why did it happen? Public opinion was that the disasters were “indicativeÂ of extremely poor judgment by the management”. However, a survey conducted by the CIO magazine revealed that only 9%Â ofÂ the companies that installed ERP systems had made the effort to house their ERPÂ dataÂ in a third party dataÂ center for security and disaster recovery. Perhaps, they would not have suffered the losses if they had but put in place disaster recovery and business continuity plans, before they attempted the installation or upgrade.
InfamousÂ DataÂ Loss Triggered by Sinking Online Data Backup Companies
Other Reported FamousÂ Data Losses
DataÂ that Flew outÂ ofÂ the Helicopter Window: The most famous caseÂ of dataÂ loss that has been reported is the one from a global Telecommunications company whose employees dropped a laptop from a helicopter while working on it in flight.Â Fortunately, for them all the files could be recovered from anotherÂ dataÂ repository and sent through FTP server for a meeting at Hong Kong the next day.
DataÂ that Got Shampooed out: A passenger packed away his laptop along withÂ his toiletries for a flight. The shampoo leaked and ruined the circuits causing the hard drive to fail. Unfortunately theÂ dataÂ could not be recovered.
DataÂ that Dropped outÂ ofÂ Joly’s World: Dom Joly the creatorÂ ofÂ Trigger Happy TV, lost all hisÂ dataÂ when he dropped his laptop.Â The hard drive was damaged and he could not recover the five thousand photos; six thousand songs; half a book he was writing and all his old newspaper columns.
DataÂ that was Baked in Fire: A UK University lost a large volumeÂ ofÂ data when a fire broke out in the Computer Science department during a weekend and damaged all the computers and equipment. The fire departments efforts to put out the fireÂ withÂ water added to their woes. A little more than a terabyteÂ of dataÂ was recovered from 30 computers was rescued from the wreckage.
Banana Facts: A customer left a banana on his external hard drive. The banana decayed and released its fluids into the circuitry ruining it and causing the hard drive to fail. The circuitry was ultimately repaired.
Not So Hard to Drive Over your Hard Drive: People never seem to learn not to leave their hard drives or laptops where it can be run over. This typeÂ of disaster is infamously famous everywhere.
Drives Reformatted: A customer reformatted his hard drive ten times before it dawned on him that he needs to recover some valuableÂ dataÂ from the drive.
Greasing the Squeaking Drive: A man sprayed WD-40 on his desktop drive, to prevent it squeaking. It stopped squeaking at once and refused to boot up. AllÂ dataÂ on the system was irretrievably lost.
Shipping in Old Socks: A customer shipped his hard drive to aÂ dataÂ recovery unit wrapped in a pairÂ ofÂ old socks. The drive reached the recovery unitÂ with theÂ dataÂ completely unrecoverable
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