Stories of how data backups saved organizations from total loss

Stories of how data backups saved organizations from total loss

If you’re lucky, your business will never have to use data backups. But that’s something business owners shouldn’t take a flier on, as data loss is one of the biggest business threats nowadays. More and more enterprises are taking notice of the risks — this is evident in our Washington and Charlotte service areas, as businesses seek cost-effective ways to implement digital processes.

Below are some examples of how necessary data backups are. These organizations were able to save millions of dollars because they had foresight and used proactive data management.


GitLab sounded the data loss alarm in February 2017, with a tweet stating, “We accidentally deleted production data and might have to restore from backup.” They then explained in their blog that a GitLab database administrator accidentally deleted data from their main database server, resulting in a major outage for one of their products.

There was a lot of data lost that day — amounting to around 5,000 projects and 700 user accounts — but the damage could have undoubtedly been worse if they had not backed up critical client data on mirror servers. The company even live-streamed their recovery activities on YouTube.

The lesson here is to make sure that your employees are always vigilant and careful about their data management practices, particularly when they’re clearing up server space. Human error is one of the most prominent causes of data loss, so make sure you have procedures in place in case of data mismanagement.

Talk to your backup services provider about the steps they undertake to ensure no data is lost. They can play a vital role in ensuring your staff manages business data properly, especially for smaller companies whose IT resources are stretched thin.

US Consulate Services

In 2014, the US State Department’s master database crashed and was taken offline, leaving over 200,000 various consular service requests unattended. The alleged culprit was a regular software patch going rogue, throwing the passport and visa system off the rails and to a grinding halt. Thankfully, the database was backed up in its entirety, and because the storage site was highly secure, no data was lost.

The crash disrupted visa issuance for a while, but even though the recovery process was slow, all sensitive information was protected. The effects of a data loss event for the US State Department could have been devastating, to say the least — secure data backups ensured that such an event wouldn’t take place.

Keep this story in mind when you look for a managed IT services provider (MSP) for backups and recovery. It’s not enough that they provide storage services — they should automatically come with network protection and data security.

Toy Story 2

Toy Story 2 — the 1999 sequel to the runaway hit animated movie Toy Story — is one of the best examples of how backups can save companies lots of money. The movie grossed over $497 million in box office sales, but it could have just as easily been a failed project in the same way many sequels turn out to be.

Already beset by production problems, the film was nearly completely lost in 1998 when an animator unwittingly included the movie file in a routine batch deletion of older files stored in the Pixar servers. Around 90% of all accumulated work on the movie was lost, and employees quickly discovered that the automated backups had also failed. The film was only saved because a technical director — who had been working from home to tend to her newborn child — had backups of the assets in her home computer. Nearly all of the lost files were recovered, and the movie was released on time and went on to become a success.

The lesson here: have backups. The Toy Story 2 situation was a lucky one; had it not been for that one fortuitous backup, the entire franchise would have been lost. Don’t rely on fate when it comes to your business files. There are backup and recovery options nowadays to suit your company’s specific needs.

Running a business without backups is essentially jumping through hoops of fire without an ambulance nearby. Don’t leave your business data to chance. Our backup solutions will help you gain peace of mind and renewed focus on what you do best. Call us today to learn more.


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