Backups, data validation and redundancy: once is brittle, twice is good

Lesson learned last summer, from the loss of a hard drive. Then again last night, from my phone freezing (no, it hasn’t been backed up for a while, either). Sigh.

The parallel here with my hard drive, and flash drive, issue that is for work related systems, people management, you need redundancy. Why? To ensure throughput, to ensure goals are met and to ensure the vision is that much closer to real. Take analytics, for example. Twice now, I have been a part of a project at two large companies to move from standard, “A,” to standard, “B.” I worked as a consultant to another large and now public company when they were migrating from, “A,” to, “B.” Every time, the ironic thing is, people want to re-invent the wheel. “But we’re different…” no.

Are there redundant systems in nature that we should look to for how to design robust, fault tolerant systems?

You betcha. A few examples I can think of off the top of my head:

  • Branches on a tree – yep, trees will survive, by & large, without one of their branches.
  • Litters born to most mammals – often times, at least one offspring will not survive, see, “Runt of the litter.”
  • Cellular reproduction in any given living organism – take hair, for example. I’m positive if every living creature lost any given, single hair tomorrow…not a single thing would change for the tigers, lions or bears 😉

If you finish up in a conversation without a backup strategy…check yourself before you wreck yourself. Backups are key. On the bright side, the Apple store always seems so…high tech. I’ve already made my appointment with a genius to sort things out 😉