D'oh, I Should Have Made A Backup - InformationWeek

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2/6/2009
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Howard Marks
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D'oh, I Should Have Made A Backup

In yet another chapter in our continuing series bringing further embarrassment to poor souls that were foolish enough to not have a viable backup plan, we have the sad tale of blog hosting firm JournalSpace. It managed to survive six years using RAID as a substitute for backups. But then data corruption struck and business failure soon followed.

In yet another chapter in our continuing series bringing further embarrassment to poor souls that were foolish enough to not have a viable backup plan, we have the sad tale of blog hosting firm JournalSpace. It managed to survive six years using RAID as a substitute for backups. But then data corruption struck and business failure soon followed.Best known for hosting the blog of a former Delta Airlines flight attendant who was fired for posting photos of herself showing a little leg (and not much more) inside the cabin of a plane, JournalSpace's IT guy had scripts to protect the PHP scripts on the front-end servers but relied on mirrored drives to protect the database server.

JournalSpace employees described the admin in question as having a hobby of telling other people how smart he was. We've all run into this type in the IT biz. Those who can do, those who can't may teach (although so may those who can), and only those that can't do or teach brag.

After accusations of theft from the company and sabotage: Poof! No database. No database, no blogs.

Some users have resorted to Google's online cache to recover their data. If you had a JournalSpace blog and want to try recovering data via Google, see this blog post.

After the disaster, the owners of JournalSpace.com sold the domain to new owners who resurrected the site, but not the data.

Lessons for today:

1. RAID isn't a substitute for backups. 1a. Neither are snapshots. 2. Bloggers should back up their content themselves, as hosting providers can only be trusted so far. 3. Never underestimate the danger of a disgruntled employee.

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