• June 26, 2022

Proactive Data Protection

Nassim Nicholas Taleb developed the black swan theory, the idea that outlier events, events outside regular expectations, regularly occur and cause extreme disruption. A black swan event is rationalized after it occurs as being predictable, though its predictability is questionable. Taleb considers the Internet, WWI, and 9/11 to all be black swan events. He’s reluctant to invest in financial markets because he feels they’re insufficiently protected against unpredictable catastrophes. Taleb emphasizes the importance of identifying areas of vulnerability to avoid being overwhelmed by a black swan event.

Black swans attack

Unfortunately, the IT world is often insufficiently protected against black swan events. One study found that 50% of backup tapes don’t restore correctly, and data losses, like any black swan events, are very disruptive, and it’s hard in most cases to see how they could have been predicted. Ransomware. Frozen pipes. Employees who intend to delete just a few personal files, but manage to delete thousands of critical files at the same time. There was the employee who tested a fire suppression system with the nozzles directly pointed at a RAID rack, and the employee who thought he was faithfully backing up data to tape every night, but who never noticed the backup server had stopped working properly months before. There was the faucet that froze and broke on a fourth floor balcony, creating a waterfall on the lower floors, causing a ceiling to collapse, and wiping out two entire SANs. In other words, if something can go wrong, it probably will, and that is predictable.

Alerting: the first line of defense against black swans

Proactive data protection is critical to protect a data environment from black swans. Rocket Servergraph Professional is a backup monitoring/reporting solution that keeps an eye on the backup environment at all times and detects and alerts in real-time if a backup fails or is missed. Fast alerting means information about the problem is still available to assist in problem resolution, and Servergraph categorizes problems to further assist in problem identification. Real-time alerts make it possible—usually—to address a problem before a ceiling collapses.

Good backups: the second line of defense

Real-time alerting is only one part of a successful proactive data protection system; data needs to be readily restorable. Servergraph’s reports and dashboards provide a complete picture of the entire backup environment and its health. With Servergraph, it’s easy to see all the components of the backup environment and to verify that they’re working properly.

Predictive analysis: the third line of defense

Are half the servers in your data center plotting to go belly up simultaneously? Servergraph uses trends and historical data to identify potential problems before they become real problems.

Taleb feels it isn’t worthwhile to try to identify potential black swans; the best policy is to be prepared to take advantage of positive black swans and to do everything possible to protect against black swan disasters. Servergraph is unusually rich in tools for proactive data protection. It provides an efficient reliable backup environment in an unreliable world.

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Rocket Software empowers organizations to create legendary impact in the world through innovation in legacy technologies. With deep expertise in IBM Z, IBM Power, and database and connectivity solutions, Rocket solutions power tens of thousands of global businesses, solving real problems and making real-world impact. With more than 70% of the world’s IT workload running on legacy platforms, Rocket helps companies and public-sector organizations innovate using the technology and data they already have, so they can always be ready for what comes next. Rocket customers include 44 of the Fortune 50, representing industries including Banking and Finance, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Transportation and Logistics, Retail and Insurance. A Bain Capital portfolio company, Rocket is headquartered in the Boston area with centers of excellence strategically located throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.


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