Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Data Recovery Lessons We Can Learn from “Toy Story 2”

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. But common sense would tell you that a multi-million dollar company like Pixar, best known for its CGI-animated feature films, would have a multi-point, locked-down data recovery solution, right? But in 1998, the animated film “Toy Story 2” reportedly was partially deleted.

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“My data’s backed up to infinity and beyond!”

And to the horror of the hundreds of animators who’d been working on the film for months, it had not been properly backed up. Yikes.

According to the film legend (which many say has been overblown), the only thing that saved Pixar’s bacon was that Supervising Technical Director Galyn Susma had recently become a mother, and had been doing some work from home. As such, she had been taking updated copies of the film home with her and storing them on her home computer.

As the story goes, animators started noticing one day that characters hats, legs, arms, etc., were beginning to disappear before their eyes. Soon, whole characters were missing from scenes. When they rebooted from their backup copy, they found that only about 40 percent of the files still existed. Why? Because the storage system they used capped at 10GB (yeah, this was 1998, remember?), and instead of providing users with a warning that the backup disk’s capacity had been reached, the disk simply over-wrote old files to make room for new.

Those over-written files were lost forever. Or would have been, if not for Susma’s working from home and being smart enough to keep the backups. (Read the full story here.)

What does “Toy Story 2” have to do with your IT solution? Well, it’s pretty obvious, really. This a case in which a company lost critically important data and didn’t have a solid data recovery plan in place.

The point is that if you’re an IT professional or a business owner, you can’t afford not to have such a data recovery plan, because there may not be a Galyn Susma in your company. That’s where TDV Cloud backup and recovery can help. Even if you’re using data tape for your backup and recovery needs, it’s worth looking at a cloud solution for an added level of protection.

Think about it: Do you have the time and resources to re-create all your files manually? Pixar would ultimately re-animate much of that film, but the fact is, without that lucky break, it would have had to start from scratch. And who knows? The loss could have dealt a blow that pushed the movie back more than just a few months. Perhaps even to infinity and beyond.

Check out our free white paper, What You Need to Know About Cloud Backup, to find out how to bolster your data recovery solution.


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