Once upon a time before computers, company records were stored in filing cabinets. For large corporations, this could mean quite a bit of acreage; sometimes one or more whole basement floors of a building would be nothing but these tall gray metal boxes, attended in the semi-darkness by a full-time file clerk, maybe a small man in a visor named Bert. If Bert was anything, he was reliable. A message could come from a sales representative high above with something like, “I need that file on John Smith of Cincinnati, Ohio right away!” Bert would provide that file, because Bert always knew where everything was.
Today, though, that same file would not exist in physical form but in electronic bits on a computer. Bert has been replaced by an I/O request and a network channel. The user simply clicks on the filename from his or her desktop, and the computer delivers that file right up. The user works on the file, then saves it once again.
Even with all the modern technology we have now, the one mistake that couldn’t happen then (except with the most extreme of stupidity) that can happen now is the accidental deletion of a file. The files simply shifted between those huge dark rooms and employee desks, and once the employee was done with a file it went back to Bert who neatly filed it away in its proper place until it was once again needed. But today, if a user accidentally deletes an electronic file, it’s just gone. Even if we had Bert, Bert couldn’t retrieve it because it simply doesn’t exist.
One provision that has been made for accidentally-deleted files in the Windows Recycle Bin–but that only works if the file was saved on the local machine. If it was saved across a network to a server (the norm in today’s enterprise) that file is gone. If the file was created prior to the last backup, then at least an earlier version of the file can be retrieved–although it will still require considerable work, depending on how old that version is. If, however, the file was created and the work was done since the last backup, it’s gone for good and will have to be re-created from scratch.
What if we could have someone like Bert, always standing by and able to retrieve that file? Well, with a real-time data recovery solution, we can. With such a solution in place, a user who accidentally deletes a file can simply access the feature that replaces the Windows Recycle Bin, and recover that file in seconds–even if it was deleted across a network.
So while the days of humble little efficient Bert might be long gone, a real-time data recovery solution is the next best thing.