Feeds

Alaska and Dell team on $38bn bungle

When storage specialists attack

High performance access to file storage

A database service call went rather awry when a network specialist accidentally wiped a hard-drive containing Alaska's $38bn Oil Fund. The multi-billion-dollar boner was performed under the watchful eyes of a Dell storage specialist working on a remote desktop session, a report obtained today by The Register has revealed.

In June, Alaska's Department of Revenue attempted to fix errors reported in its Dell/EMC storage system's processors. (The department used a cluster of Dell servers running MS SQL 2005 connected to Dell/EMC storage boxes with approximately 3TB of space.) The technician given the fix assignment — who mercifully is kept anonymous but herein known as Johnny McBunglepants — was advised by the Dell specialist to unbind then bind the two partitions (LUNs) that were corrupted after a first attempt to correct the error failed.

Unfortunately, neither administrator managed to correlate which data partition corresponded to which drive letter on the server and moved some files — notably containing 800,000 PDFs of Alaska's applicant information for an oil-funded sales account — on to the doomed drive. Both the Dell specialist and McBunglepants missed the error.

McBunglepants's attempts to restore the database from tape were thwarted when he realized the primary filegroup (MDF) of the 2006 PDF database had not been selected to be backed up. Because a check box had not been placed next to the .MDF file restoration was futile. The department worked over the weekend to restore file groups for 2000-2005 using an older backup MDF file, but was unable to use it for the 2006 file group.

Four seasonal employees returned to work in the summer and over a period of 2.5 months rescanned the nine months' worth of documents lost, which the department keeps on hand at least one full year. The gaffe ended up costing the department more than $200,000 to fix.

Publicity of the multi-billion dollar wipe certainly shouldn't put a spring in Dell's step, which has recently run into hard times and has been giving a hard push on their professional services.

Alaska's Department of Revenue has since added additional disk storage for a total of 7TB of space making for easier database tests and restores. They now have a team of IT staff to review and certify backup logs daily and review all database properties, backup procedures and scripts monthly.

The department has also created a formal written backup plan should McBunglepants strike again. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.