One of the most famous scenes of the 1978 classic movie, Superman, directed by Richard Donner was when our hero discovered that the love of his life, Lois Lane (Rest in Peace, Margot Kidder) had died after an earthquake swallowed her car and buried her alive. Superman used a talent never before seen and started flying around the world in the opposite direction of the Earth’s natural rotation. This force caused the Earth’s spin to stop, and ultimately reversed itself and thereby caused time to go backwards. You got to see spectacular 1978 special effects and we got to watch the events unfold in reverse, including the car that came out of the earth and the telephone poles that fell back into place. Lois, was of course, miraculously unharmed and we were then blessed to see Superman (Rest in Peace, Christopher Reeve) in two more Superman movies. (As an aside, I do not consider Superman 4 - A Quest for Peace, to be an actual Superman movie. It is just called 4. It was an awful idea, reminiscent of Rocky 5 (or just, 5), which is just too painful to discuss).
By now you must be asking, “Where is Elton going with this?” Well, I’ll tell you. Today I became a victim of not following my own advice. In sales’ parlance, I did not eat my own dog food, I did not drink my own champagne, and I did not practice what I preached. For decades, I had been the insurance salesman of the software world, dutifully pointing out to my clients, the potential damage of not having an appropriate backup, recovery, or disaster recovery solution. Normally, I’d focus on some version of the notion that it wasn’t about the backup, it was all about the recovery. Well, today it bit me in the ol’ flipper-flapper.
Realizing that somewhere in the recesses of five old laptop hard drives, I had valuable client contacts with whom I’d like to reconnect, I set about to try and extract the data. My first idea was to contact a colleague who would be able to just migrate the data for me. He had all the tools I craved and the expertise I needed. I spoke with him and he explained that he normally charged $80/drive. I did some quick calculation and by virtue of the fact that I had no idea where on the drives the data resided, what value the aged contacts still retained, and how long this exercise would have taken, I politely declined. The next plan was to buy enclosures and boot the drives from that. That was a few hundred dollars as well. Finally, I settled on buying a cable that connected USB to SATA/IDE (these are some old laptops)! This was the compromise knowing that the tools would be cheap, but the time investment would be costly. So, off I trekked to the computer supply store and got a heck of a deal on the cable. I was on cloud-nine. However, the joy was short lived as while in the parking lot, my windshield shattered as if it had been a victim of Superman’s laser vision. Add $400, to this project. Life happens!
So, what could I have done differently? How could I have future-proofed this? Even if I had used some of the great enterprise tools of yesteryear to backup my files, I would have needed the same tools and media running around to restore them. I’d have needed to retain licensing throughout all those years, and I’d have needed to recall the skills required to administer the solution properly. Was it worth all that? How would I even find the data I was looking for?
One of my favorite analogies when dealing with data migration is a riff on, “Most people typically have the garage sale before they move houses. Why pay to move what you don’t need”? The challenge there is that you usually need a data classification tool to help determine the value of the data before you choose to move it. An investment in time and money upfront, saves a fortune later. Recently, I’ve been dealing with the non-IT version of this concept. After the passing of my father, of blessed memory, I have been dealing with actual migration of “stuff”. Having had my family living with me for the last eight years, I had all their belongings that had been packed to come up, I had all the new goods we had acquired during those eight years, and I had all my historical items. Without Superman’s x-ray vision, I was flying blind. I had to open each box to see what was inside. You wouldn’t believe what I found. My parents had paid the moving company to pack everything up. Well, being that the movers were paid for time and materials, they packed EVERYTHING. I found kitchen containers with sugar inside, huge boxes with nothing but a lampshade for a lamp that had been broken in transit, and clothes that may have fitted back when I was in my diving form. What a colossal waste of time, money, and used space for all those years!
Well, this isn’t a blog about crying over spilled milk. Let’s figure out how to future-proof our data. Some of the solutions we provide at Data Curation, LLC are data classification, cloud-based endpoint backup for laptops, desktops, mobile devices and cloud applications, and remediation if you are storing data out in the cloud that shouldn’t be there. In addition, everything is globally deduplicated, so you are storing your data as efficiently as possible. Bluntly speaking, for much less than the cost of my obliterated windshield, you could have all your data available to you on any device and at any time. All centrally managed and secure in a format that is independent of locked-in media. If you had the equivalent of sugar canisters in the cloud, you could find it with pinpoint accuracy, and remove it. Never again pay migration fees, never pay to store what you don’t want, and know that at any time, you have the information you need at your fingertips, accessible from anywhere.
To Superman, no earth, time-reversal is needed. We prepped for this. We are ready. We have planned, we have assessed the solutions, we have done the work, and we are confident that we are good for the future. That is, of course, until General Zod shows up, but that’s another blog entry.
Check us out at datacuration.io and learn how we are helping organizations to not repeat the sins of my past.
Data Curation, LLC
P.S. If you want to see all the passion of Christopher Reeve, please see the clip below! FYI, my windshield reaction was not far from his primordial scream.