[time-nuts] While we're discussing backups...
fortime at bellsouth.net
Tue Aug 26 14:04:07 EDT 2008
----- Original Message -----
From: "Neon John" <jgd at johngsbbq.com>
To: "Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement"
<time-nuts at febo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 1:10 PM
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] While we're discussing backups...
> On Tue, 26 Aug 2008 03:34:11 +0000, Mark Sims <holrum at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>Pointless overkill? Ask those people in New Orleans what happens when
>>originals and backups are kept in the same city. I know of several (ex)
>>businesses that wisely kept their backups in different buildings there...
>>all were lost.
>>Ask my friends in Jarrell, Texas (or what's left of them after a tornado
>>leveled the city)... one friend kept backups at his and his parent's
>>house... a lifetime's work lost... not to mention a lot of friends and
>>All legitimate disaster plans specify that backups (and contingency
>>operating sites) are not to be kept in the same geographic area. Failure
>>to do so in a corporate setting would expose you to major liability
> It's a big old world out there and if you look hard enough, you can find
> something to justify most any plan, regardless of how outrageous, if a
> occurance is acceptable justification. Of course, by that standard we all
> should walk around wearing Kevlar helmets. After all, there has been a
> instance of someone being hit by a meteorite in recorded history.
> If I'd lived and operated a data center in NO even before Katrina, I'd
> considered flooding to be a high percentage risk and done something
> appropriate about it. If I lived in the high desert, I'd not worry too
> about flooding.
> The silliness in your "advice" is that you offered up one of the most
> "solutions" as generic advice and said that anything less was no backup at
> or something to that effect even though you don't know my or any other
> member's circumstances. Let's see how your advice and its associate
> fits my situation since I'm the one you replied to.
> I'm retired so total loss of my data would have no financial impact. A
> sentimental and legacy impact, in terms of both my writings, designs and
> digital photos. Interestingly enough, all those types of data are backed
> multiple ways including on a set of DVDs resting in a friend's safe who
> a few miles away. My past design work is completely static, my photos
> static and my writings a little less static so updates to that collection
> be done only a couple of times a year. They'd only be needed if my cabin
> its contents suddenly and completely disappeared somehow.
> I live in a cabin on gentle sloping ground about 200 feet above the
> river. Short of The Great Flood 2.0, water on the ground cannot reach my
> place. Period. That takes NO-style flooding off the table. The basement
> my cabin sits on bedrock. The combination of the gradual slope and the
> skim of topsoil takes land slides off the table.
> In my basement there is one of the largest gun safes made, one that I can
> stand up in. It is set through the concrete block wall, back into the
> bank behind my cabin so that the door is flush with the wall. In other
> like a vault. The safe itself weighs about 2 tons. The bottom few inches
> filled with another ton of concrete and the foot of the safe is embedded
> about 3 yards of steel-reinforced concrete, some of the steel welded to
> safe's body.
> The lockworks are US government crypto-certified. I paid a bunch extra
> that quality of lockwork. The combination lock is a Sergent and Green
> crypto-grade unit and the key lock is a Medico high security one. Both
> must be manipulated to open the safe. Inside the safe is another smaller
> "valuables" safe, also secured with a S&G crypto-grade combo lock. It was
> intended for jewelry but I use it for backup media storage.
> Even sitting in the open it has the highest UL fire rating available. Set
> back in the dirt bank, it is impervious to fire. The safe is both alarmed
> (certain immaterial-to-this-discussion have been changed for obvious
> I installed this safe years ago when I traveled a lot to protect my gun
> collection. It makes a damned fine data safe. So let's evaluate the
> Risk Covered?
> Fire check
> Earthquake check
> general flood NA
> local flood check*
> explosion check
> land slide NA
> B&E check**
> Tornado check
> Riot check
> Nuclear attack check***
> Nosey neighbors check
> * broken water pipe, etc. The basement is drained by gravity plus my
> system has a leak detection facility that kills power to my well pump.
> ** adding to my protection against breaking and entering are all my
> armed and dangerous neighbors. We put teeth in the term "Neighborhood
> *** of any nearby strategic target such as Oak Ridge. Can't imagine
> nuking Tellico Plains :-) Even if they did, I'm still 25 miles and a
> range away.
> My lights-out server sits inside the safe with the power and ethernet
> brought out through suitable secure penetrations. I put the server in the
> safe after the experience of a previous fire. My backups were good but
> hassle, time and cost involved in setting up a new server made using
> space in the safe for this one a no-brainer.
> Also sitting in the safe is another laptop just like this one. I stay on
> trailing edge of technology so buying a second one cost me almost nothing.
> This totally eliminates the risk of even an hour of down-time if I break
> laptop or it just quits. I swap them occasionally to equalize the wear
> tear and to keep the capacitors in the power supply well-formed.
> There is a small CO2 cylinder in the back of the safe equipped with a
> loaded, solenoid tripped valve. The valve came directly out of an Ansul
> automatic fire protection system. If triggered by an external thermal
> rate-of-rise Fenwal switch, it provides a steady flow of inerting gas,
> for a couple of hours.
> This setup is a lessons-learned from my house fire when steam and acidic
> got past the "air tight" gun safe seal and damaged thousands of dollars
> of guns, even before the fire was completely out. I had the safe open
> while the firemen were watering hot spots and my guns were already
> Insurance paid OK but some of the guns were literally irreplaceable so I
> suffered great loss.
> Ansul systems can't be reused so the valve setup is a throw-away item at
> any used restaurant supply company. The CO2 bottle is an off-the-shelf 20
> soft drink dispenser cylinder.
> So. Given my setup, tell me what risk I'm exposed to that would make
> backup media a hundred miles away and paying someone to store them make
> economic sense? I think that I have a very well thought-out and complete
> security system but I'm always open to second opinions.
> John De Armond
"tell me what risk I'm exposed to"
An angry wife !
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