Well, until now. This is an interesting story about archiving and how it could have, but didn't help a friend of mine.

Often, when speaking with customers, I talk to them about the 4 fundamental principals with regard to data protection:

  1. Assess
  2. Archive
  3. Backup
  4. Manage

The assessment phase is a multi-dimensional phase. It's about people, process and technology. Like with most things, the technology piece is the easy piece. EMC has tools that allow us to scan file systems, data bases and email systems that report back a litany of information including but not limited to:

  • Number of files
  • Age of files
  • Volume of data
  • Owner of the data

Once EMC passes the information to the customer about their data, the real hard work begins. Armed with the information, IT now has to go and speak to line of business managers in order to determine the value of the data, and how data of a specific value needs to be managed and protected. The problem is line of business managers want everything saved forever, until IT tells them what the bill would be. IT begins to describe the different 'classes' of service capabilities and line of business managers, who don't really care about the details (not because they don't care, they are just too busy), finally say "Just give me the highest level of protection I can get for the least amount of money." IT now does the best they can to align their perceived value of the data, to the most appropriate backup and archive capabilities they have.

Now, in Vegas, I think we can all agree that the video surveillance has a ton of value to the stake holders of the hotels and casinos. The amount of debauchery that takes place in Vegas with the amount of money that is 'rolling' around Vegas, it is important to 'know what is going on' and to make sure all situations can be handled as efficiently as possible and this is where video surveillance comes into play and the more you 'save' on high speed disk, the easier it is to get to the truth or solve the mystery.

The exception is that this data is not available for just any general purpose. Case in point. A good friend of mine, lets call him 'Josh' was running around Vegas one evening having a grand time. He and some friends ran into a group of young ladies and had a great time seeing the sights of Vegas for the rest of the evening. As the night was winding down and people were going back to their hotels, Josh, being a very nice guy decided to ensure his 'date' made it back to her hotel safely. He rode with her in the cab and then walked her to her hotel room. Now, if any of you have been to Vegas, you know that from the cab stand to the room can be a mile and you will take one of several elevators and walk down one of many corridors to a hotel door that looks exactly like the other 3500 in the building.

They young lady asked Josh in to talk and to say good night and as time went past, they talked all night until the fell asleep. Josh, having to catch a flight the next afternoon, and not wanting to wake anyone decided to quietly leave early in the am. Josh then took a cab back to his hotel and when he went to pay the cab driver, he realized that his wallet was gone. After calling all the places they had been the night before, Josh was convinced that he had left / lost the wallet in hotel room of the young lady and decided to call her. First problem. He didn't know the room number. He didn't even remember the floor she was on. Josh went back to the hotel and started to go up and down the elevator and walk down the halls looking for anything that looked familiar so he could knock on the door and ask if he had lost his wallet in the room. After a few hours of walking the halls, he had his first great idea, instead of walk throughout the hotel, how about call every room? As he started doing that, he realized he still had about 2500 more rooms to call and with his cell running out of juice and not wanting to be a spectacle in the lobby he had is second brilliant idea. Lets ask the security department if he can have a look t the video surveillance to see if they can tell him which floor he went to the night before and what hallway he walked down so he could, perhaps, more easily find his wallet.

Well, the security department was less than sympathetic to Josh's request (I would bet they get this question a lot). In fact, the security department would not even comment on the fact as to whether or not they even had video cameras covering the different areas of the hotel for 'security reasons'. (Reminds me of a time when I worked at VERITAS and we sold some software to Bank of NY who told us to not divulge what they had purchased because they considered this piece of technology a competitive edge.)

Defeated, Josh left his name with the hotel, went back to his hotel. It has been over 7 hours of searching and is now just moments before checkout and him having to go to the airport.

Just goes to show you, having the data, doesn't always put you on the Road to Recovery.

(BTW: Josh got a call on the way to the airport, the hotel 'found' his wallet and would be mailing it to him. What a relief.)


Archive, Discovery, disk, EMC