Over the years I’ve dealt with a lot of different environments, and a lot of different usage requirements for backup products. Most of these fall into the “appropriate business use” categories. Some fall into the “hmmm, why would you do that?” category. Others fall into the “please excuse my brain it’s just scuttled off into the corner to hide – tell me again” category.
This is not about the people, or the companies, but the crazy ideas that sometimes get hold within companies that should be watched for. While I could have expanded this list to cover a raft of other things outside of backups, I’ve forced myself to just keep it to the backup process.
In no particular order then, these are the crazy things I never want to hear again:
- After the backups, I delete all the indices, because I maintain a spreadsheet showing where files are, and that’s much more efficient than proprietary databases.
- We just backup /etc/passwd on that machine.
- But what about /etc/shadow? (My stupid response to the above statement, blurted after by brain stalled in response to statement #2)
- Oh, hadn’t thought about that (In response to #3).
- Can you fax me some cleaning cartridge barcodes?
- To save money on barcodes at the end of every week we take them off the tapes in the autochanger and put them on the new ones about to go in.
- We only put one tape in the autochanger each night. We don’t want <product> to pick the wrong tape.
- We need to upgrade our tape drives. All our backups don’t fit on a single tape any more. (By same company that said #7.)
- What do you mean if we don’t change the tape <product> won’t automatically overwrite it? (By same company that said #7 and #8.)
- Why would I want to match barcode labels to tape labels? That’s crazy!
- That’s being backed up. I emailed Jim a week ago and asked him to add it to the configuration. (Shouted out from across the room: “Jim left last month, remember?”)
- We put disk quotas on our academics, but due to government law we can’t do that to their mail. So when they fill up their home directories, they zip them up and email it to themselves then delete it all.
- If a user is dumb enough to delete their file, I don’t care about getting it back.
- Every now and then on a Friday afternoon my last boss used to delete a filesystem and tell us to have it back by Monday as a test of the backup system.
- What are you going to do to fix the problem? (Final question asked by an operations manager after explaining (a) robot was randomly dropping tapes when picking them from slots; (b) tapes were covered in a thin film of oily grime; (c) oh that was probably because their data centre was under the area of the flight path where planes are advised to dump excess fuel before landing; (d) fuel is not being scrubbed by air conditioning system fully and being sucked into data centre; (e) me reminding them we just supported the backup software.)
I will say that numbers #1 and #15 are my personal favourites for crazy statements.