Just an update to my blog post yesterday (“Even HA Guys Do Dumb Things”) – I have ZERO – yes ZERO data loss. The program I used to recover my pictures from a bad SD card didn’t handle anything than pictures and videos. So I downloaded another program (iCare Data Recovery if you’re curious) and lo and behold, I have all of the files I needed from the blown away partition. Heck, it even found some pictures I had deleted and moved to another hard drive to clear up some space.
I had a total happy ending to my story, but you won’t always get one when something happens like a drive failure or an accidental reformatting. I was up and running with no data loss in less than 48 hours which is good by many standards. Granted, I didn’t have a proverbial gun to my head, it was just one system, and I did things like eat dinner and go out to the movies last night. A true downtime drill won’t have any fun or slack associated with it.
When it comes to disaster recovery, data loss has to be expected. That is a very difficult conversation to have – the business always wants zero data loss. Is zero data loss possible even in scenarios not like mine? Sure. Time was certainly on my side – my recovery point objective (most if possible) as well as recovery time objective (I had all the time in the world) were easy to meet. When you’ve got a real recovery objective of a few hours, a 2TB database, and no idea what your last transaction log backup is that’s available to you – it’s a whole different story. Businesses of all kinds can afford some data loss – you just need to be realistic and either be told the number or make that conversation happen. This is a big factor in planning your backup and restore/recovery strategy.
Software like the one I used may even be able to be used depending on your outage scenario, but realize not only may the package not work, it would take time to run (general rule of thumb: the larger the hard drive, the longer it takes). When the goal is to be back up and running quickly, time is not on your side. It’s about doing the right thing in that situation. Is business continuity more important than data loss? Something has to give somewhere.
Never say never. It happened to me. And it may happen to you. How will you deal with your situation?