Redundancies and (Complete) Destruction

Redundancies and (Complete) Destruction

January 28

The other day, two of my colleagues engaged in a pretty gripping debate about destruction (we are in the backup and disaster recovery business, after all). One of them claimed that saying something was completely destroyed was redundant; just saying something was destroyed automatically implies that it was completely destroyed.

The other reasoned that something can be destroyed without being completely destroyed since losing the roof of a structure essentially renders it useless, in a way destroyed, but it would still be repairable which means that it wouldn’t be completely destroyed. Basically, even though there has been destruction, there’s still something left to build from.

My thoughts were that even if the phrasing was redundant, we like redundancy in backup and disaster recovery, don’t we? Isn’t that how we keep our systems online in emergencies? In case one set of equipment is destroyed we have another ready so that the whole business isn’t completely destroyed, right?

Curious to have a fourth opinion, I decided to see what the internet had to say. I typed “complete destruction” into Google and got a nice poem by William Carlos Williams that essentially sums up the argument of why complete destruction wasn’t redundant phrasing:

Complete Destruction

It was an icy day

We buried the cat

Then took her box

And set fire to it

In the backyard

Those fleas that escaped

Earth and fire

Died by the cold.

The way I look at it, the cat had fleas, and since the fleas were essentially a part of her and lived inside her box, which was her home (another part of her), only by destroying the box and the fleas could the cat be completely destroyed.

So when you undergo site destroying event and your business is utterly leveled by a storm or earthquake or whatever, it’s never completely destroyed if you’ve taken backup images; you’ve got something left to build from— your redundancies. Your all-important digital bytes of business are like the fleas in the box, they survive even if your business has physically perished.

There’s no sense in letting your business succumb to complete destruction. Having redundancies built in is a big part of business continuity, so ultimately, redundancies are our friends. Of course, we’ve said this all before…