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What Can Buzz Lightyear Teach Us About Backing Up?

If your data is your livelihood, watch this and learn about the time Toy Story 2 disappeared:

It’s a teaser for a longer story on the Toy Story 2 DVD, which I watched with my son this weekend. It starts:

“When making a film like Toy Story 2, we use a bunch of UNIX and Linux machines. On those kinds of machines there’s a command, RM*, that removes everything on the filesystem as fast as it can.”

“Somebody had run RM* on the drive where all the Toy Story 2 files were kept, and things just started to disappear.”

After the teaser, the story goes on to describe how their backups for the past two months had been corrupt, and that the work on the film from the past two years was just gone. Freaking out, they started putting together a plan to push the film back an entire year to try to keep from having to scrap it altogether.

But Galyn Susman, visual arts director at Pixar, came to the rescue. She had just had a baby, and in order to spend time with her newborn had set up a system she could work on from home. She brought with her a copy of the film. The ONLY copy of the film.

My wife calls this story a lesson about how cool new moms are. I say it’s a reminder that if your data is important you can never have enough backups.

Imagine that for moment. Imagine everything you had worked for, months even years worth of data, literally disappearing in front of you. This happens to countless people everyday and it really underscores the fragility of our data. A few unfortunate keystrokes and Pixar, one of the most respected and lucrative animation studios in the world, nearly lost a Golden Globe winning film to the ether.

At ServInt we back up our clients’ files for free, automatically, on every product we sell on our website. Our backup service is awesome – it is reliable and robust and I think it’s an Industry-leading service. But if anybody tells you that ANY backup is 100% reliable 100% of the time, call them a liar and run away from them immediately.

If your data is critical to your livelihood, you can NEVER have enough backups. Go ask Pixar. Then go watch Toy Story 2 or some other Pixar movie. They are all awesome – and at least one survived to be seen because of backups.

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