Backup & Disaster Recovery Lessons from The Tiger King

I learned a lot from The Tiger King, currently the most popular show on Netflix.  And like WestWorld, I saw a few lessons about backup and disaster recovery that I thought I’d share with you.

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen the entire docuseries The Tiger King, stop reading this right now, as it contains some major spoilers from that series.  How have you not watched this yet?  It is the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen on Netflix, as in non-credible. As in, “I can’t believe what I’m watching!”  (And yet it’s all just a little too real, and sadly there are deaths involved in the show.  Just go watch it.)

Offsite backups matter

I can’t believe a guy responsible for producing a fully professional television series didn’t understand the importance of getting copies of his footage to multiple locations.  I know it’s hard to get raw footage to two locations, as it is so large, but I also know that technology exists to help make it easier.

And look what happened. All that work literally went up in smoke. And that footage was gold, I tell you!  Thankfully there was a documentary being filmed at the same time, so we go some idea of what that reality show would have been like.  But that producer was sitting on a gold mine, and he just kept it under his mattress.  If you learn nothing else from this show, it’s this.

Rogue admins exist

I get a lot of heat from some people online that I see rogue admins everywhere.  Well, I don’t, but you have to prepare for them.  Statistics show that most attacks from the inside, and this “fire” was no exception.

We all know that he did it, right? I mean, it was clearly arson.  An arson that benefited him by erasing all the footage that could have been used to incriminate him.  Also, it happened days after he suggested that it should happen.  I mean… come on!  It was an inside job!

This is why separation of powers is important in a good backup and DR system.  No one person should be able to wipe out all your data.  It’s also why we backup SaaS services like Office 365 and Salesforce. If you didn’t, a rogue admin could easily delete it all along with any snapshots of your data.

Explosions kill more than computers

This isn’t so much about backups, but as a man who was born and raised in Florida, I feel a connection with alligators. They’re nowhere near as scary as they look, and they’re more scared of you than you are of them – believe it or not.  It was indeed sad to see the loss of so many alligators just to stop that production.

Carole Baskins

This also isn’t about backups. What I learned from her is that the way to protest private zoos is to have your own private zoo.  Oh, I’m sorry… “refuge.”  One where the biggest animals in the zoo are held in cages that aren’t even big enough for them to turn around in?  Come on, Carole Baskins!  How is PETA on your side?



----- 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 Evangelist 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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