Monday, October 19, 2009

Sidekick data lossage

You know that big T-Mobile Sidekick data loss incident last week? Well, it seems a source is pointing at the potential cause. Long and short: the service did in fact have a backup, and did in fact start to do a backup before the migration. But they only have space on the SAN for 1 backup copy, and the backup process takes 6 days to run. So part-way through the backup the Microsoft manager in charge ordered them to abort the backup and start the migration, since the storage vendor had assured them a backup wouldn't be needed. Naturally Murphy stuck his nose in mid-way through the migration.

With Microsoft's track record for bad management decisions, this sounds plausible. And in a case like this you can't blame the technology. No tech will save you from this sort of deliberate stupidity.

I'd also note that the whole incident should be a warning to everyone: you need your own backups of your data. It doesn't matter what the contract says, failures can still happen and you need to be able to recover from them.

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