Sunday, June 29, 2014

Plan B Isn't Good Enough

I subscribe to the Windows Secrets newsletter. Recently they had an article on TrueCrypt. I'm not ready to take a position on that fiasco but Susan Bradley had a quote that got me thinking.
The TrueCrypt saga highlights the importance of having a Plan B for all our important computing services.
This reminded me of a discussion at FedEx when we were moving our data center. As I was discussing this with our Vice President he asked about our "Plan B." I told him I had plans all the way down to "Plan Z."

An example was that when we backed up the systems for the move, we made 2 sets of backups. Then when we transported them across town we used 2 completely different routes.

At FedEx we learned to have primary, secondary, and tertiary plans. When loading an airplane 1) run weights and balances, 2) put ballast in the front of the plane, and 3) tie the nose wheel to the ground. And always have a backup plane, e.g. "Plan Z."

Recently a CIO of a local transportation company asked me:
...we have full replication between the two data centers at the disk array level, should we still be making tape backups for off-site storage?
What do you think my answer to him was?
We learned the answer at FedEx: primary, secondary, tertiary.
And remember my backup solutions?
Belt, suspenders, and raincoat.
Plan B isn't good enough.

No comments: