There’s No Cure for Stupid – How Failing to Backup Killed JournalSpace

By at 2 January, 2009, 5:15 pm

Myself and other legal bloggers like Ross Kodner constantly push the need for proper backups using a layered approach involving multiple points of data redundancy and backup. For a refresher check out  one of my many posts on backups Don't Be an Idiot- Backup Your Data or Ross' Great Truths About Data Backup. Part of that backup strategy is to use hardware RAID to prevent against hardware failure. However, RAID itself isn't sufficient to safeguard against catastrophic loss or damage such as a fire, tornado, flood or someone inadvertently or deliberately overwriting your data.

Seems the folks at JournalSpace, the popular blog hosting site, failed to pay attention to common backup strategies and best practices and didn't have ANY BACKUPS. That's right folks, none, nada, zip, zilch. Instead, they relied on a set of drives mirrored (RAID 1) on a server running OS X server. Somehow – they're not sure how exactly- their data was overwritten and its gone. Just like that, the data for everyone that had a blog with JournalSpace is out of luck unless they somehow made their own backups. There's a line from the movie Forest Gump "Stupid is as Stupid Does" I think that it is appropriate in this instance.I say this because of the actions of the JournalSpace folks. If you look to whatthis line might mean, I agree with the following description from Google Answers:

Forrest's version of the saying means that stupidity is not just a surface thing derived from a person's appearance. Stupidity is a matter of deeds, not looks. Like the other versions, it comes down tothis: judge people by what they do, not by how they appear.

OK, if we judge JournalSpace by what they did, they were stupid. It's one thing if you lose your own data, but it's something else entirely when you lose other peoples data that they have entrusted to you.

You can read JournalSpace's take on things here in what I would describe as their obituary. I don't mean to make light of their loss, but this is something so basic and easy to prevent that it's hard not to wonder exactly where their heads were at when they decided to simply rely on mirrored drives to safeguard all of their data.

As we start a new year, let their loss serve to reinforce your resolve to insure that you have regular and tested backups of all of your critical data and information.

Categories : Hmmm! | Practice Management | Security

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