Stop the Backup and Recovery Firefighting - Suggestions From Real-World Pros (or How Not to Be Like My Cat)

I used to have a cat who, like so many of his kind, thought very highly of himself. I swear he was the anonymous author of the famous Dog vs Cat Diaries. For almost his entire 18 years, he let it be known that HE, and no one else, was the King of the Kingdom. He was regal, noble, suffered no fools, and was above any canine foolishness. He was born on the Ides of March and named Julius (of course). I was in awe. I was dutifully subservient. I was intimidated.  That is, until I stumbled upon his kryptonite. 

Enter the paper bag.

This bold and beautiful beast quickly became a crazed, silly member of the “funny cat video club” whenever a paper bag was put on the floor in front of him. Besides the endless run down the hallway and slide into the paper bag like it was third base, his favorite – absolutely most favorite thing to do was, well, just put his head in the bag. 

That’s it. While almost all of his massive 20lbs of black and white fur was outside the paper bag, Julius would put his head in the bag and just lay there. For hours.

It was clear that Julius thought that when his head was in the paper bag, we couldn’t see him. Which, as I noted above, was almost impossible because he was a really big boy. But nope.  With the head in the bag, he thought he was invisible, out of sight, and safe from harm.

Oh the lessons we learn from our pets. What is it about burying our heads in paper bags, or in the sand, that makes us think everything’s going to be alright?

And you know where I’m going with this…

What is it that makes us IT folks think that we can just ignore backup and disaster recovery for now, and that it’ll just magically take care of itself later? Or even running around putting out all the IT fires without taking a step back and putting some larger plan in place. 

Let’s look at a few stats from outside the IT paper bag…

According to a recent survey by Forrester Research and Disaster Recovery Journal, one in three companies have declared a disaster in the past five years. That’s increased from the one in five that was reported in 2010. Or how about this: only 28 percent of organizations report being “very confident” that they can fully restore critical systems with their current strategies and technology.

Whaaat??! By default, that means 72 percent of organizations still have their head in a paper bag.

The truth, as I tried to explain to my beloved feline, is that sticking your head in the paper bag is NOT going to make the world go away, no matter how much we would wish it to. If we stick our heads in the proverbial IT paper bag, everything else is still hanging out the other end. The real world does not go away.

To help get our heads out of that paper bag, we asked a couple of good folks – just like you – to reflect on some of the best backup and recovery practices they’d recommend. Real life tips from real-world IT professionals. We asked them three key questions to keep it simple and then just let them talk. And we’re sharing that goodness in a three-part series, so that you can get their simple, real-world strategies that’ll make your job a whole lot more enjoyable.  In this first  installment, “End the Firefighting, Part 1: Keeping up with Today’s Data Protection Requirements”, you’ll get their take away on how data protection needs have changed in recent years and why you should care (hint: it’s a perfect storm everyone’s dealing with right now)

(You can listen to the entire webinar, if you’d like. Right here)

Julius never did learn that hiding his head didn’t make the world go away. Paper bags were his way of checking out. But in the backup and recovery world, we can’t do that. Better to ditch the bag and face what’s in front of you. It’s the only way to stop the firefighting.  And you’ve friends who can help.