The $2,000 cup of coffee

What’s the most expensive cup of coffee you’ve ever bought? Was it $6, $8, $15? Try a cup of coffee that cost $2,000. And worst yet, it was made at home. Let me tell you a tale of disaster recovery…

CoffeeWhat’s the most expensive cup of coffee you’ve ever bought?  Was it $6, $8, $15?  Try a cup of coffee that cost $2,000.  And worst yet, it was made at home.

I know you’re asking what could possibly make a cup of coffee that expensive. Well, it’s not actually the coffee, it’s the container.  Usually, even the most expensive coffee is served in a nice cup, worthy of the brew. This coffee, the coffee my wife got recently, was served inside my laptop.

That’s right.  She made a lovely cup of coffee (I can only assume it was lovely, since I drink tea), and then proceeded to dump it all inside my laptop.  I never really got the full story, but I do know that before the coffee was consumed, it was in three containers.  First, it was in a cup, then in a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro laptop, then in a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro brick.

Coffee, and Disaster Recovery

I’m writing this blog to remind you all to make sure you’ve got your disaster plans in place and tested.  Make sure you have everything you can’t afford to lose.  Some strategies to use are:

  1. Keep everything in as centralized place as possible.  That means put as much as you can in your My Docs folder so you only have one master folder to back up.
  2. Keep as much as possible online somewhere.  Whether you use O365, DropBox, or whatever else, keep it online.  Don’t even store stuff on your box that you can’t afford to lose.
  3. Don’t rely on backup software.  I’ve had many times where backup software fails me when I go to restore it.  It usually takes the form of corrupt, inaccessible backups.  I prefer to set up a script to copy my files instead.  If I’m not storing my stuff online, then at the very least I’ll keep an external drive to copy files over to, once a week or so.
  4. Even if you have online storage, also keep an external drive, and keep it disconnected.  About two years go, I got a virus that encrypted all of my files, including my OneDrive and DropBox content.  It encrypted everything my box could get to.  But if you have an external drive, keep it disconnected until it’s time to copy files to it; then disconnect it again.  This way, a piece of ransomware won’t be able to get to your offline files.
  5. Regularly back up databases or VM images, if you have those on your box.
  6. If you have code on your box that you’re working on, nothing beats an online code vault.  GitHub is probably the most popular.  I use it for every bit of my code, and I rest assured that if anything happens to my box, then at least my code is safe… to a reasonable point in time, that is.

Be Vigilant

Those are a few steps to prevent you from being caught unawares.  Be diligent.  Don’t skip even once, and don’t relax…like I did.

Any other time, my laptop would have been closed, because I access it from another workstation via RDP.  But I was doing something on it, and I didn’t close the lid when I was finished.  I figured, “Oh, I’ll get to it in a bit.”  And then it happened.  For the past forever I’d been religious about keeping my laptop lid closed, and the one time I relaxed for an hour, this happens.  So you really can’t relax even once.  A disaster can strike at any time.

And some day it will.  Are you prepared?  How tested is your DR plan?  If someone were to pour coffee on your box right now would it be an inconvenience, or would you be in big trouble?  Always ask yourself this when you’re saying how ready you are for something to happen.