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What do social media platform MySpace and Pixar’s’ Toy Story 2 have in common besides being two successful hits in the early part of the millennium? Well, you may not know it, but both were accidentally deleted (Toy Story 2 was actually deleted twice).

MySpace, the precursor social network to Facebook, launched the social media revolution back in 2003, and between 2005 and 2008 became the most prominent social network in the world, reaching more than 100 million users per month at its peak. After being acquired by News Corp. for over $500M, it slowly declined over time with the rise of more popular social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.  Despite its decline, MySpace continues to chug along. As of May of this year, it is still in the top 2000 visited websites in the world. What you may not know is that sometime around 2017, MySpace permanently lost all songs, photos, and videos that were uploaded to the website from 2003 to 2015 in a botched file server migration.

“As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from MySpace. We apologize for the inconvenience and suggest that you retain your back up copies.”

An email that was sent to all MySpace users after the files were deleted.

If only MySpace were using HubStor, you would never hear about this incident, and all those cringe-worthy pictures you uploaded to MySpace would still be available for the whole world to see!  While some of us may be happy that some of our old high school photos were deleted, had this been more sensitive data, this simple file server migration project could have had disastrous consequences.  File server migrations are a critical reason to leverage HubStor, giving you data protection that always meets the 3-2-1 golden backup rule.

Another example of accidental data deletion comes from Pixar Studios.  In 1998 about 150 people at Pixar were working on the animation, lighting, and modeling for the sequel to the beloved movie Toy Story. Sometime during the production process, Pixar’s CTO Oren Jacob and Technical Director Gayln Susman were looking at a directory that was holding the assets for some of the characters.

“He had an error, I forget the exact [one]. It was like, “Directory no longer valid,” because he’s in a place that had just been deleted. Then he thought to walk up [a directory] and he walked back up and then we saw Hamm, Potato Head and Rex. Then we looked at it again and there was just Hamm and then nothing.” Said Jacob.

They were witnessing a programmatic deletion in process. Someone in the organization ran a file deletion command at the root of the file share directory. That’s when Jacob made a panicked call to the server room and instructed the IT team to yank the power and network connection to the server! After all was said and done, 90% of the movie had been deleted by an erroneous, simple 10-character command.

As was typical at that time (and even today), backups would write to tape directly.  However, the backups on the tape drive hit 4 GB, which was the maximum at the time.  As a result, new backups were ‘pushing’ out the older backups. Most of the movie was able to be recovered, but about a weeks’ worth of work was lost forever.

Since then, we have seen the adoption of disk-to-disk backup, and a much broader adoption of offsite replication. Cloud backup was not available back in 1998 when these events occurred at Pixar.  Today, we see the cloud offering further refinements and improvements for data protection. We can now keep recent backup sets on local disk for a fast Recovery Time Objective (RTO), and automatically replicate our backups in the cloud for seamless offsite protection.  Furthermore, our backups can move to the cloud’s archive tier (which is physically tape in the cloud) for low-cost, long-term retention at fractions of a penny per gigabyte monthly.

If you are looking for ways to enhance your data protection and reduce your backup costs, get in touch with us today.  We can explore how HubStor might be a good fit for you with the unified backup and archiving platform that supports file servers, virtual environments, SaaS apps, and more.


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