There comes a time in every DBA's life when he has to admit defeat in one area or another. Personally, I've done it so much it's old hat for me, so here's another one.
For years now I've been ribbing my friend for being a Linuxhead. Then I bought a Buffalo Terastation NAS for my house. Well, to make a long story much shorter, I lost my array and all of my data along with it. After poking around for a little while my friend discovered that it was Linux-based. So he asked me if he could have a crack at recovering it. I said sure... I wasn't really looking forward to the $3K it would take to have it recovered elsewhere. And did I mention this array had all my SQL backups and other important docs on it? I really couldn't afford to lose everything on it.
Well, after messing with it off and on for a couple weeks, he came over last night with a solid game plan and got the array back up and I was able to pull pretty much everything off of it.
I don't know if something like this would've been possible on a Windows system. He had uncovered an entire world of guys who had hacked the firmware to do one thing or another and that's what allowed him to do his thing. So with things in the Windows world always being so much more formal, that type of hacking isn't as ubiquitous and I might not have been able to get my data back this easily.
Needless to say I'm now rethinking my backup strategies at home. I've got a few DBs that I can't afford to lose, but it's tough. I'm not a corporation so I can't afford fancy tape libraries and the like. Nor are any of the home solutions suitable for the amount of data I backup. I'm basically between a rock and a hard place. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do yet, but I can't take a chance on losing that stuff again.
And of course, it's times like these when I bring my new-found paranoia to work and see whether my enterprise backup strategy has any holes in it or not. This type of near disaster is good for you. It's like almost getting in a wreck for doing something stupid. You get to be reminded to be more careful without the hassle and pain of an actual wreck... good stuff that.
So Linux is pretty cool, and my friend Jim rocks!