7. Integrity

The novice was growing impatient on the road to enlightenment. "Master, as a follower of the Tao, I am taking regular backups of all my files. I am archiving them securely offsite, and testing them using Veracity. Surely, master, I am enlightened now?"

The backup master said only: "You will not achieve enlightenment until you control the integrity of your data, for a copy is useless if the original is corrupt. What use is a mirror if we cannot see? What use is an echo if we cannot hear?" But the novice did not understand.

Later the novice returned. "Master," he said, "a cracker on the Internet penetrated my network six months ago and has been corrupting random files ever since. These hundreds of corrupted files have been flowing through my backup system. Now I do not know which files are clean and which are not. I do not know which backups hold the latest clean copy of each file. What should I do?"

But the master was silent.

On the other side of the world, the cracker laughed.

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