DiscoverBackup Central's Restore it All
Backup Central's Restore it All

Backup Central's Restore it All

Author: Backup Central's Restore it All

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A podcast dedicated to making sure you can restore everything you need to restore. Hosted by W. Curtis Preston (Mr. Backup) and Prasanna Malaiyandi.
108 Episodes
Prasanna and Curtis discuss whether or not can (or will) OVH properly redesign their backup infrastructure to prevent another incident like what happened in March, where many customers lost their sites forever. As we discussed in our previous podcast, OVH had a backup service already that people paid for, and it was not up to the task. OVH"s CEO made an 8-minute video where he discussed some of the things they were going to do to make things better, and we discuss what he said. We talk about their idea of a centralized region just for backups, and whether or not that's a good idea. We also talk about how big of a job they have in front of them. We applaud what we see, but have many concerns that the brief video do not address. We also talk about how this plan is supposed to take five years, and what do OVH customers do in the meantime?
We talk to Mike Johnson of ComplyTrust, who says they "remember those you are supposed to forget." We talk about the data management challenges created by data subject access requests (DSARs), right-of-erasure (ROE, AKA right to be forgotten, or RTBF) requests, and the fact that we have many parts of the datacenter that are much better at remembering than forgetting. Backups are a particular challenge, but Mike brings up other challenges, such as mergers and acquisitions, and salespeople importing old data. ComplyTrust SaaS offering has a unique solution to this problem by remembering (on your behalf) those you are supposed to forget, and continually checking to see that they stay forgotten.
This week we discuss further lessons from the OVH fire, which starts with an admission by the CEO that some customers who paid for the backup service lost their backups in the fire. It then morphs into a discussion about designing resilient systems, starting with the concept of designing for failure. You have to protect against both physical and logical damage to your apps and data. We talk about using both cloud-native apps that have resiliency built in, vs having to add resiliency to your own app. Most importantly, know how your app/data is protected, and don't tolerate wishy-washy terminology in your service agreements. Above all, test, test, test!
This week we discuss a topic brought up by the OVH fire. It appears some people actually had a contractual backup service that wasn't doing it's job. How do you verify that a service you're paying for is real, and is doing what it claims to be doing? Especially how do you make sure they are storing data offsite? We've got some ideas.
Datacenter manager Dan Frith (@penguinpunk) joins us on the podcast for our first discussion of the #OVHFire. A massive fire destroyed a datacenter of a large cloud provider in Europe, and millions of websites disappeared. We talk about the lessons we can learn from this event. Dan talks about how outsourcing the servers doesn't outsource the responsibility for data protection. I make the point that this fire shows what happens when you completely rely on a single entity for both production and data protection. We end up talking about the 3-2-1 rule and how it applies in this scenario. I also give a discount code during the podcast for my new O'Reilly book Modern Data Protection, which is now available for purchase. If you use the URL below and the code I give on the podcast, you can get 35% of the retail price.
It only took us 100 episodes, but we finally got Dave Russell, VP of Enterprise Strategy at Veeam, as our guest on the podcast. Dave and Curtis go way back, and this was a great discussion. We cover the proper use of tape, and what it was like for Dave when he went to Veeam. Another big discussion point was Dave clearing up misconceptions (some of which may have come from this podcast) about what Insight Partners acquiring Veeam really meant. We then get into a great discussion about how Veeam works, ending that discussion with Dave explaining what Veeam is doing to address concerns about Windows and ransomware.
Our anonymous guest this week is from a Fortune 100 company who is considering swapping out their backup product. Our guest has been at the company for over 20 years, and remembers swapping out NetWorker for NetBackup many years ago. Now he is considering swapping out NetBackup to address his challenges with that product. We discuss a number of topics, including the age-old argument of who should be in charge of database backups, as well as the challenges of moving to a modern backup product when you are still using operating systems not usually supporting by such products. Our guest's final thoughts center on the importance of a good relationship with the vendor in question.
A Veeam user warns of what he felt is a confusing option in Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365. He says he likes the product, but that the first retention setting mentioned in the documentation (item-level retention) might not do what you think it does. He thinks everyone should use snapshot-level retention, which behaves more traditionally. We also discuss IBM Spectrum Protect (AKA TSM) a little bit, as they also use that product. Our guest is speaking on conditions of anonymity, so we gave him a fake name (Puddleglum) and altered his voice in the recording. (Want to talk about your environment, but don't want to use your name? We'd love to have you on and we'll keep you anonymous too!)
Adi Ruppin, founder of Ananda Networks, joins us on the podcast to discuss how they secure – and increase the performance of – network traffic without deploying a VPN or SD-WAN. He talks about how the technologies we use for networking are actually very old designs that come with a lot of downsides. Ananda Networks aims to address those downsides while giving you everything a VPN and SD-WAN do – and more. Faster and more secure internet connections without the technologies we usually use for such things.
It's hard to believe, but this is our 100th episode! Prasanna and Curtis discuss the favorite topics we've had over 100 episodes, as well as the many things we've learned along the way. We talk about containers and K8s, tape, COVID-19, election security, and how recoveries are impacted by other factors. We also talked extensively about ransomware, and talked to someone who had actually been through a recovery from an attack. We talked about DDI, cloud backups, the importance of segregating your Windows backup server, and many things about the 120+ database products that have to be backed up. Thank you so much to our listeners! We look forward to 100 more episodes!
Russ Cantwell (@rcantw3ll), CTO of SHI Corp, joins us to talk about Kubernetes, the Container Storage Interface (CSI), and backups. Before we get to that, however, we talk about how he, his pregnant wife, and two-year old child all got COVID-19. We discuss how that went and continues to go, and then we talk about Kubernetes. (If you're not interested in our banter, and just want to hear about K8s, just fast-forward to 11:50.)
Another industry veteran, Jose Calhariz. joins us this week to explain how he uses the community versions of two open-source backup tools to meet his university's backup needs, while saving money. We have a very interesting discussion that includes coverage of dump, tar, and Amanda. Jose also tells a great story of a huge recovery he had to do, that took several days.
Darren McBride, CEO of Highly Reliable Systems ( ) joins us on this podcast to talk about their product, which he says is designed for SMBs to get reliable offsite backup without using tape or an Internet connection. They have purpose-built appliances that support mirroring, but with removable disks. This product has been on the market for almost twenty years, but is having a surge in demand due to the desire by many companies to have an air-gapped backup for ransomware protection purposes.
In May of 2020, Tony Mendoza of Spectra Logic found out his company had been attacked by ransomware. Hear his harrowing tale of how long it took just to get the data center ready for a restore, and then the various tools they used to bring things back online. He did not want to pay that ransom! Spectra Logic is actually a tape vendor, so Tony has a unique viewpoint. We thank him so much for being so candid about his experience. You will learn a lot.
Rob Morrison joins us from Bacula Systems, the commercial arm of the open-source backup product, Bacula. It's tagline is that it roams the datacenter at night and sucks the vital essence from your computers. Bacula Systems has come a long way since I first saw them years ago. Check out what they're been up to.
This week’s episode is dedicated to my friend Jim Bougor, who passed on this week. Jim, this week’s guest (Darryl Baker), and I all worked at Collective Technologies back in the day. Darryl comes with over 30 years of backup and IT experience, and he and I walk down memory lane about the way things used to be with backups. Apropos for women’s history month, we also talk about Grace Hopper and Ada Lovelace a little bit. The Grace Hopper speech Darryl references can be seen here: We talk about all sorts of tape drives from the old days including: 9-track, VHS, QIC-180, 8mm, AIT, 4mm, TK-70s, DLTs, and LTOs. We discuss the concept of coercivity and how that relates to magnetic media. We also discuss the difference between helical scan and linear tape drives, and Darryl’s theory as to why helical scan disappeared.
Chainkit Founder & CEO Val Bercovici returns to the podcast to build on what we learned last week. This week we talk about how distributed ledger technology (such as the one in BlockChain, but there are others), can be used to increase security. We talk about the SolarWinds hack and how that could have been prevented using such technology.
We invite blockchain expert Val Bercovici, Founder & CEO of ChainKit, on the podcast to explain the basics of distributed ledgers, as well as the biggest distributed ledger – BlockChain. He explains what a distributed ledger is and why you might want one. We then talk about why someone would contribute to such a ledger, meaning why you would volunteer your resources to be part one – a process known as "mining." Then, as a precursor to our next episode, we talk a little bit about the security possibilities of a distributed ledger.
Prasanna and Curtis discuss the importance of occasionally refreshing your hardware (or virtual hardware) and how important backup in in that scenario. There are many modern tools that can help you migrate from one thing to another (e.g. iPhone migration), but you'd better also have a decent backup. We also discuss the pros and cons of TimeMachine. It's nice, but not perfect. (Still better than anything in WIndows, though.)
Julie Ulrich, Systems Engineer at Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan, joins us on this episode to talk about her experiences with NetBackup and Rubrik in her world. She’s been working in backups for over 25 years, so has seen a number of iterations of both products. We talk about many of the challenges she had with NetBackup that led her to considering Rubrik, as well as the pros and cons of using Rubrik. We also talk a little about her concerns about Microsoft 365.
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