What’s a good way to learn about backup and disaster recovery? Well, in addition to our wonderful case studies, the answer to this question (and most questions in life) is Star Wars.
Let’s focus on Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope for now and if I can somehow get away with it, we’ll talk about the other two later (voicing your support in the comments below or on our Facebook or Twitter pages will make that much more feasible). We’ll probably skip the prequel trilogy, I don’t think I need to explain why.
Note: If you’ve never seen Star Wars, you’ve had an extremely misguided existence. Please find and watch the original, unmolested VHS versions for the full experience.
Let’s set the scene.
As most no doubt know, A New Hope circles around the Galactic Empire’s construction of the first Death Star and the Rebel Alliance’s attempts to disable it. The film opens with a battle between the Rebels and the Empire aboard the Tantive IV, a space ship carrying Princess Leia and the blueprints of the notorious Death Star. The rebels intend to analyze the plans to find weaknesses in the nearly invincible space station so that they can destroy it, but the Empire wants them back.
Just as the Empire is taking over the ship, Princess Leia records a message on the droid carrying the plans, R2-D2 (also known as Artoo), and launches him onto the nearest planet, Tattooine, where he is purchased by a young moisture farmer named Luke Skywalker.
Because of the message on Artoo, and through the valiant efforts of Luke, Obi-Wan, Han Solo, Leia, and friends, Artoo eventually makes it back into the hands of the rebel alliance where the data is recovered from his memory units and the Death Star is *spoiler alert* attacked and destroyed. If it wasn’t for the copy (for our sake, we’ll call it a backup) of the Death Star plans inside of Artoo’s memory, the first Death Star couldn’t have been destroyed.
The Empire may be a governmental entity, but it functions in many ways like a business so it’s beneficial to think about the Death Star as a place of business. Physically, the space station has a single point of failure that’s eventually exploited by a one-man starship, causing the Death Star’s destruction.
For the love of Hoth, why would you build a massive space station with such a critical flaw?
It’s likely that the Empire didn’t know that the vent was an exploitable flaw (even though chicken wire probably would’ve prevented the whole thing). When it comes to business continuity, there are a million things every business needs to prepare for, but there are so many potential threats that many of them might not be clear until they’re staring you in the face like a rebel blaster.
So what will your meter-wide exhaust vent be? The first step is examining what the threats are or could be so that you’ve got a plan when disaster strikes. Without acknowledging weaknesses and building fortifications against threats, how can you expect to control the universe? I mean… build a successful business?
Worth noting is that although many Empire officials are strangled by Darth Vader for their insolence, the Empire isn’t full of total idiots—they did have a backup and disaster recovery plan, but we’ll get into that when/if I get to episode VI. Evil or not, the Empire runs a pretty tight starship.
So again, ask yourself where you’ll be after some rebellious stormtrooper shoots photon-tornadoes at your business. You’re probably thinking, “I’ll be careful.”
You’ll be dead!
Maybe not you personally, but your business might be if you don’t take a hard look at risks and possibilities and determine with certainty that your disaster recovery plan accounts for even the small things. We all know what happened to the Death Star. Don’t let your business get shot down by a stormtrooper, a rebel hacker, or any unplanned disaster.
I’ll see you again in the next edition of backup and Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.