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Backup Policies Can Really Save Businesses

At the end of January, social bookmarking site, Ma.gnolia suffered a significant data corruption and loss incident, resulting in what initially appeared to be a complete loss of user supplied data.

In the fortnight since the initial loss of data, there have been several improvements that have been made to retrieve at least some of the user supplied content, primarily from web caches, however this has been limited to only public bookmarks that users supplied.

When a site or service is dependent upon the whim of the masses to remain viable, such as with almost every social-anything site, the sudden and long term loss of data can be a fatal blow, much as it can also be for any business.

Since people tend not to limit themselves to a single site to do things on, there are opportunities for users to recover bookmarks that they may have linked from ma.gnolia to other services.

From the information being posted online by Larry Halff, it seems that there is ongoing trouble in trying to recover the data that has been lost and there is still no end in sight for when the service may be brought back online, or any of the stored data recovered.

No information has been made public about whether there were any adequate data backup policies in place, but it is a lesson that data backup is more than just a chore - it can really save a business. Even if there were adequate backups, the data corruption may have extended back through enough of the backups to limit the usefulness of actually recovering the site.

13 February 2009

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