Top 20 Moments in the History of Backup and Disaster Recovery

13.7 billion years BC – The universe begins as a singularity; those who believe in the “big bang” theory suggest the disaster is on-going…

3.8 billion years BC – The start of life on Earth. The first cell is thought to have arisen from self-replicating RNA what developed later into DNA.  DNA is a store of biological data, the genetic information that allows all modern living things to function, grow and reproduce.  Put another way, you are the backup of your parents.  Say hi to the therapist for me.

65 million years BC - Dinosaurs, not backed up.

3200 BC – The invention of writing.  In order not to forget stuff, the ancient Sumerians started to write it all down.  There are great RPOs on books (as long as you have a good scribe) but the RTOs are rubbish; the average adult reads at 300 words per minute, painful.

552 BC – Cyrus the Great memorises the name of every soldier in his entire army, some 10,000 Persian men.  An amazing achievement of memory but also a harsh lesson in single-point-of-failure, he is killed in battle in 530 BC and the information goes with him.

48 BC – The burning of the Library of Alexandria.  Among others in your “Top 10 Lost Books Of All Time”, the second book of Aristotle’s Poetics went up in smoke and humanity was beginning to realise the fatal flaw in their cunning backup plan; paper is actually quite flammable.

1347 AD - The first known insurance contract is signed in Genoa, Italy.  This was great for those buying and selling goods and owning property but information is difficult to value, most people would rather have their data back than receive compensation for its loss.

1436 AD – Johannes Gutenberg, a former goldsmith, created the first printing press in Germany.  He used his knowledge of metalwork to fashion letters out of an alloy, pressing these against ink and then paper to create a copy.  This made the printing of multiple copies considerably faster, a great step forward in data resilience.

1539 AD – Image based backup, born.  Henry VIII, King of England was trying to decide who to marry next, he sent the artist Hans Holbein to make a reliable copy of what his list of European princesses looked like.   Based on these pictures, Henry made his choice and proposed engagement to Anne of Cleeves only to discover she looked nothing like he expected.  Corrupt data/bad copy.

1937 AD – Invention of the photocopier. Successfully and faithfully photocopying documents and bottoms since the early 20th century.  It is a shame about those grey smudges you get and hey, where is the disaster recovery for the rain forests?

1949 AD – The Manchester Mark 1 computer ushers in the era of stored program computing, the Amazon basin looks on hopefully.

1964 AD – Mass market computing begins, the Programma 101 was unveiled to the public at the New York World’s fair.  One of these computers was used on Apollo 11 and it was pretty much… a calculator.  "One small step..." (at a time!)

1972 AD – Mainframe computers deliver applications and data at high speed to hundreds of users, in-built hardware redundancy ensures exceptional RPOs and RTOs.  The ancient Sumerians would have just loved this.

1990 AD – Arcserve 1.0 released by Cheyenne software.  The age of distributed computing is in full swing and it is all about backing up to these little rectangular things called “tapes”.

1998 AD – VMware founded in Palo Alto, California.  Although the concept of a hypervisor originated from 1960s, it was VMware who introduced hardware virtualization to the mass market.  Virtualisation will go on to revolutionise backup and disaster recovery.

2006 AD – XOsoft’s WANsync technology is integrated into Arcserve.  For the first time mid-market users can perform both backup and full system failover from one solution.

2008 AD - Microsoft releases their competing product to VMware, they call it Hyper V.  If you weren’t virtualised before, you are now.  Specific software for virtual backup exists but there is little integration with physical servers, tape backups or cross platform Microsoft/Linux.

2014 AD – Unified Data Protection (UDP) is released by Arcserve. This software is specifically designed for virtual environments, VMware, Hyper V and Xen, whilst extending its ease of use and functionality across virtual and physical servers.  UDP provides both image based and file based backup as well as providing application level replication and hot swap and always on capability.  UDP maintains its advanced features with tape and compatibility controlling both Windows and Linux environments, virtual and physical, backup and DR, disk, tape and cloud from a single console. RPO = 0.  RTO = 0.

2015 AD – Arcserve UDP wins three awards from VMWorld 2015 including a "gold award for DR and backup for virtualized environments", “best disaster recovery project” and “best in show”.

2017 AD – You are here. Find out more about Arcserve, UDP and how FCS can help with your backup and disaster recovery needs, make sure you don’t go the way of the dinosaurs in the event of a catastrophe.


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