Top 10 Things I learned about backups from watching Die Hard

Live Free Die Hard is a good movie and a lot of fun, but I don't think I'll design my backups around it.  (Spoiler alert: Don't click Read more if you haven't seen the movie.)

I watched Live Free or Die Hard over the weekend, and it turns out that it's all about backups!  I learned a lot that I can't wait to implement.  Here goes. 

  1. The Federal Government can provide outsourced backup for private enterprise.
  2. The backups of all the federal banks (and I assume the federal government) can fit on a "portable hard drive." I never saw this actual hard drive in the movie, but it's apparently small enough to fit in a van.  I thought it was in the big truck, but then they blew that up, so it must have been in the van.  It might have been on the laptop.)
  3. If you can steal the backup of the databases from said banks, it somehow results in you actually having the money stored in those banks.
  4. If you want to back up all the country's banks to a portable hard drive, what you do is you wait until the disaster happens to start the "download."
  5. If you do wait until the disaster happens to start the download, it'll finish in a few hours.  Just sit there and watch the progress bar.
  6. Backup experts do not look like me. Apparently, they look like Maggie Q.
  7. Speaking of having a backup plan, although you can't shut the power off to the power grid remotely, and have to send your girlfriend with a roll-up keyboard to do it for you physically so she can get the crap beat out of her by Bruce Willis, you can apparently blow up the central control station remotely if you need to by rerouting all the gas lines in the area to it.  This, of course, is a backup plan that sounds less risky than the primary plan, but… whatever.  It got more screen time for your girlfriend.
  8. If you need to encrypt your backups, just let a twenty-something hacker sit at your keyboard for about 30 seconds, and he can code and implement a 1024-bit encryption system instantly.
  9. If you need to unencrypt those backups, shoot him in the leg.
  10. If that doesn't work, put a gun to the cute girl's head.  We'll call that a backup plan.

----- Signature and Disclaimer -----

Written by W. Curtis Preston (@wcpreston). For those of you unfamiliar with my work, I've specialized in backup & recovery since 1993. I've written the O'Reilly books on backup and have worked with a number of native and commercial tools. I am now Chief Technical Architect at Druva, the leading provider of cloud-based data protection and data management tools for endpoints, infrastructure, and cloud applications. These posts reflect my own opinion and are not necessarily the opinion of my employer.

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