Tao Of Backup Wailing Wall Story

Never entrust your website to a single hard drive or a single backup

I operate The AusMac Archive, a medium-sized archive of Macintosh software for Australian Mac users. I'd recently moved all my websites across to RedHat Linux boxes, having run the boxes in since September 1997. Everything was working fine.

Until the day I found that one of my servers was not on the network and not responding at all. I came into where the boxes are housed and found, to my dismay, that one of them had experienced a Kernel Panic - not the sort of thing you want to see on your main server. Sure enough, after a little more investigation and a cursory listen to the hard drive, I concluded that the thing was hosed, along with my data. Four letter words bounced around in my head at this point, because I knew I had no real backups - only sporadic ones from when I started manually mirroring the content on the server at mac.unsw.edu.au.

A day later and with a new hard drive in hand, I got the thing back up and running.

A week later I'm still going, having had to recompile some of the software for the site, and rebuild the search indexes.

I learned my lesson - trust IDE drives about as far as you can throw them, and backup, even if it means staying up till 4am to make sure they went alright.

     Grant Bayley
    Sydney, Australia, Mon 30-Mar-1998 10:25am

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