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That time I deleted a live database – Why you need a backup

You don’t know you need a backup until you do. One time several years ago we were working on a project with a live and staging database. Somehow they swapped and live became staging and staging became live. I guess I missed the memo and when I went to push a new release, I cleared out the staging database to test with new sample data. It all worked then I pushed the code live (cue breaking glass sound). I went to the live site to test and there was nothing showing in the pages, all the data was gone.

I was prepared to stay up all night or week, as I owned the issue (it was my fault after all). We weren’t taking backups but were lucky the hosting company had one and we only lost one day’s worth of data.

We’ve now fixed our procedures and this hasn’t happened again – and shouldn’t. With the cloud services we use there are automatic backups which you can restore to a point in time, which is a lifesaver when you need it.

Always back-up using the rule of 3:

  • 3 copies
  • 2 different format
  • 1 off-site

Start backing up your data – you really don’t know when you’re going to need to, but you’ll be glad you have it when you do!

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