Forever Learning

Forever learning and helping machines do the same.

a Free Tip

with 3 comments

A representative of a large company (which shall remain unnamed) recently called on me for some advice. They had accidentally loaded polluted data into their data warehouse and wanted to know if there was anything they could do to get rid of it. I told them that restoring their most recent backup and reloading any more recent, unpolluted data was probably the simplest solution. They concurred, but regretted to inform me that they had not made a single backup of their production system since I helped them set it up; many, many months ago.

Let me repeat that for you. Large company. Production system. No backups. Ever.

Now, you’re probably thinking that is pretty silly for a large company to not have backups of a production system. Well, wait until you hear what happened next.

Trucking accident


A few days later, a different representative from the same company demanded to know where exactly in the documentation we had explained that they were expected to create backups of their production system. How were they supposed to know that anything could possibly go wrong? It wasn’t their fault that they had not anticipated this disaster, right?

Politics …


I’m glad to report that, in the end, everything worked out and everyone lived happily ever after. But for future reference, here’s a free (as in beer, not as in speech) tip.

Backup. Your. Production. Database.

You’re welcome.

[Also, do not attempt to dry your poodle in a microwave oven]

Written by Lukas Vermeer

August 2, 2010 at 20:48

Posted in BI, Database, Oracle

3 Responses

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  1. Additional tip from a experienced systems administrator;
    Even when you think back-ups are made, try a practice test over once in a while. Pretend that a random server is out. Pull the plug out, and find out how much time it will take you to be back on track.

    You will notice that for example, that even if the backup was made, it might take days to have that server online again. For example if no similar hardware is available, and thus a simple restore is not enough…


    August 2, 2010 at 21:50

    • Thanks. Good tip!

      Not only should you maintain backups, you should know what to do with them when they’re needed…


      August 3, 2010 at 09:43

  2. For the sake of argumentation, If that Case should ever come up once more. Nobody should expect a Consulting Document (set with a certain Scope) to repeat the Procedures described in the Official Product Documentation..


    October 7, 2012 at 21:08

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