Stupid company decisions

JazzSinatra

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Do you get bad headache, when you read the decisions that the company's IT department where you work, makes? In the company where I work, they choose to discontinue our backup solution and do "backups" with Microsoft OneDrive's synchronisation. My head exploded. How this can be a good idea?
 

sidetone

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Over trust in a brand name, and what was marketed about probably convenience of the cloud.
 

SirDice

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My head exploded. How this can be a good idea?
Just a tip. Either accept their decision, regardless of how stupid you think it is, or quit and find another place to work. If you stay and continue to get aggravated by company decisions you're going to end up with a burn-out. I can tell you, those are not fun.
 
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JazzSinatra

JazzSinatra

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Just a tip. Either accept their decision, regardless of how stupid you think it is, or quit and find another place to work. If you stay and continue to get aggravated by company decisions you're going to end up with a burn-out. I can tell you, those are not fun.
Sorry, I was little bit incoherent. I don't personally work in the IT. I work as a mechanical engineer (gear reducer designing and calculations). Our department is very nice place to work, but stupid decision made elsewhere do affects to us. This decision feels like setting your house on fire, because you feel cold and using oven is too complicated and expensive.
 

SirDice

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I don't personally work in the IT. I work as a mechanical engineer (gear reducer designing and calculations).
The same would still apply. All you can do is provide factual arguments why they should decide one way or another. But ultimately it's their decision.
 

cynwulf

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The structure of modern companies, combined with the removal of free thinking, creativity and replacement with "processes", targets, KPIs, CoCs, etc does mean that pen pushers, bureaucrats and idiots will naturally rise to the top.
 

drhowarddrfine

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Most companies seem to be plug and play now with software, hardware and employees. There is no such thing as long time employees anymore and they often go into a place with an eye toward their next job. That's the way to get your salary up they'll tell you. Experience with one company and their product is lost.

As I talked about elsewhere, a company I used to work for had an opening for a EE to work on a new version of their product. That product was created and designed by me. But I had to apply through a headhunter. Even though three previous managers vouched for my application, I have not heard back from them.
 

Hakaba

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As a freelance, I saw a lot of stupid decision in large french company.
But as a freelance, I take recommandations and I apply the company decision.
I was employee and I left my job. That was the harder decision on my life. But face to a stupid decision that impact the quality of my work, I have no regrets.
 

ralphbsz

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It might actually be a good idea. What is the purpose of you having backups? What failures are you guarding against? Where are you storing your data? How valuable is your data, and what would be the (financial) damage if it wasn't completely there? How secure are your own facilities (against fire, theft, sabotage)? How much skilled IT staff do you have? I can easily see scenarios where using the Microsoft cloud would give you a better backup solution than anything you can engineer yourself.

Story, from the middle of Silicon Valley: A good friend of mine (not a computer person) worked for a small company, not an IT company, about 50-100 people. They had all their data on a server, which was in the back room of their building, with roughly a half dozen disk drives. They had one half-time IT person. One day, the IT person is on vacation in India, and then the server fails. It turns out the problem is a single disk drive failure, but they can't get at any of their data. With a few days of effort they stand up a second server, and at least get e-mail and connectivity back, but all their old data is still gone. Since I work in computers and particularly storage, I start teaching my friend what questions to ask: How was the RAID system configured, and where are the backups? Here are the answers: The clueless IT person had configured their disks using RAID-0. He thought that would give protection against disk failure, and the best possible capacity. Every weekday night, he came by and did a backup to tape; the backup tapes were stored initially on site, and after a few days moved to an off-site storage place. Unfortunately, the IT person had never actually checked that the backup software was actually running correctly, and had never tried to restore from a backup; it turns out that for several years they had been writing a blank tape every night, and dutifully labeling and storing them. So all their data was gone.

Fortunately, quite a few engineers had copies of individual files on their laptops or workstations. And my friend had a whole set of little USB sticks, which were used to carry data from the office to home for working there, and that collection of USB sticks ended up being the main source of engineering files for several weeks. They ended up giving the broken disk drive to a data recovery company, and getting over 90% of the content back, at a price of tens of thousands of $, but it took several months. The biggest cost was actually lost productivity (most of the employees spent weeks chasing files, and trying to figure out which old version of each file was most appropriate).

This is the reality of what IT looks like in practice. Compared to that, using Microsoft OneDrive is a great solution.
 

SirDice

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Unfortunately, the IT person had never actually checked that the backup software was actually running correctly, and had never tried to restore from a backup; it turns out that for several years they had been writing a blank tape every night, and dutifully labeling and storing them.
This. This happens more than you think. Moral of the story, besides checking your backup procedures, test your restore procedures too. Regularly. Once a month we pick a random machine and try to restore it (to another spare machine).
 

ShelLuser

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Do you get bad headache, when you read the decisions that the company's IT department where you work, makes? In the company where I work, they choose to discontinue our backup solution and do "backups" with Microsoft OneDrive's synchronisation. My head exploded. How this can be a good idea?
Why can't it be a good idea? Because it's a service carried by Microsoft and everything they do is evil per definition? That line of reasoning is just as bad in my opinion.

It's easy to waive something away as "bad" but without arguments to back up your opinion it's just that... an opinion which could easily be labeled stupid as well (no offense intended).
 

ralphbsz

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Because it's a service carried by Microsoft and everything they do is evil per definition?
Exactly! Any argument that is based on premises such as "Microsoft is evil" or "I hate Linux" or "My OS is bigger than yours" is guaranteed to be wrong, and likely come to the wrong conclusion.

But that does't mean that the opposite is always true either. Microsoft is not always the correct solution for backup. The cloud is not universally useful. Linux is appropriate for some uses, and inappropriate for others. And OSes do really differ in their characteristics.
 

VladiBG

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In the company where i work we are using this service from more than 5 years from the time when the service was called SkyDrive. There was a big issue with the synchronization program when there was more than 10k files the CPU usage was constantly high to keep track of the changes. That's why we were using normal folder redirection of all user profiles to our File servers which are backed every day The downside of using folder redirection was for our mobile users that they don't visit on regular basis our corporate network and the redirected working folders was unable to sync with the newest data.
This has changes in the recent year when the new OneDrive client was updated and provide options to sync (cache) only selected files not all of them so this help a lot with the sync process. So for the users which are working on the desktop computers inside our corporate network we are still using Folder Redirection to the file servers and for the users which are mobile (aka road warriors) we are using OneDrive as the only backup solution for they documents.
 

rigoletto@

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In the company where i work we are using this service from more than 5 years from the time when the service was called SkyDrive. There was a big issue with the synchronization program when there was more than 10k files the CPU usage was constantly high to keep track of the changes. That's why we were using normal folder redirection of all user profiles to our File servers which are backed every day The downside of using folder redirection was for our mobile users that they don't visit on regular basis our corporate network and the redirected working folders was unable to sync with the newest data.
This has changes in the recent year when the new OneDrive client was updated and provide options to sync (cache) only selected files not all of them so this help a lot with the sync process. So for the users which are working on the desktop computers inside our corporate network we are still using Folder Redirection to the file servers and for the users which are mobile (aka road warriors) we are using OneDrive as the only backup solution for they documents.
Have you tried net/syncthing or ever Resilio?

Just curious. :)
 

sidetone

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The use of Microsoft is universal, where BSD's would generally be better. I have doubts about the cloud, as in having to trust floating data, and having everyone's eggs in one basket. In one way, it would be convenient, but in another a risky place to hold data.

I think using the cloud for highly important data is the stupid part. It's their company and their decision to make. I could understand using the cloud for data that's already out in the open, that would save work from having to rewrite it over again, but I don't understand why it should be used for highly sensitive data, except that convenience is prioritized over sensitive data.
 

VladiBG

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Have you tried net/syncthing or ever Resilio?

Just curious. :)
No i didn't look for another sync tool. Actually we didn't plan to use OneDrive at the first time, it came just as option when we migrated our users to O365. Until then all the data was stored on the file servers and accessed via VPNs.
 
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JazzSinatra

JazzSinatra

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Why can't it be a good idea? Because it's a service carried by Microsoft and everything they do is evil per definition? That line of reasoning is just as bad in my opinion.

It's easy to waive something away as "bad" but without arguments to back up your opinion it's just that... an opinion which could easily be labeled stupid as well (no offense intended).
The OneDrive's sync doesn't create a real backup/snapshot. The old solution, which also was commercial and cloud based did. It only keeps couple of versions of file and automatically removes file from OneDrive if it is deleted locally. I don't have anything against Microsoft.
 

VladiBG

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When you delete a file in OneDrive it goes to User's recycle bin, when you delete the file from the recycle bin it goes to a second stage recycle bin accessed by Admins and when the file is deleted from the second stage recycle bin there's another 14 days of Sharepoint backup which can be restored with a support ticket but it will restore the entire one drive content not a single file.
 
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JazzSinatra

JazzSinatra

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It might actually be a good idea. What is the purpose of you having backups? What failures are you guarding against? Where are you storing your data? How valuable is your data, and what would be the (financial) damage if it wasn't completely there? How secure are your own facilities (against fire, theft, sabotage)? How much skilled IT staff do you have? I can easily see scenarios where using the Microsoft cloud would give you a better backup solution than anything you can engineer yourself.
This actually answers to you also:
The OneDrive's sync doesn't create a real backup/snapshot. The old solution, which also was commercial and cloud based did. It only keeps couple of versions of file and automatically removes file from OneDrive if it is deleted locally. I don't have anything against Microsoft.
I don't want to give too much information about where I work, but it's Global corporation and the files are financially significant to our department. The main problem is that I don't see the synchronisation as an adequate measurement against the data lost. The old solution did safe my ass couple of times.
 

ShelLuser

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The OneDrive's sync doesn't create a real backup/snapshot.
The sync option itself, no.

But what makes you so sure they didn't anticipate for that? All it takes is one scheduled script to maintain an archive, optionally based on time changes.

And that is exactly my point: you (obviously) don't know any details so you can't draw real conclusions here. I've set up solid backup solutions using nothing more but rsync thank you very much (that and some handy shell scripting obviously). The first was well known throughout the company, the latter.. not so much.

Do yourself a favor: don't draw conclusions until you know all the facts.
 

ralphbsz

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The use of Microsoft is universal, where BSD's would generally be better.
You are confusing things here. Your "Microsoft versus BSD" dichotomy is about operating systems that people run, and should more accurately be called "Windows versus BSD". But the thing we're discussing here is using Microsoft as a cloud provider (in this case for cloud backups). It isn't at all clear to me that the machines in Microsoft's cloud that implement backup actually run Windows; I somewhat suspect that they actually use Linux. But it doesn't matter: as a user of OneDrive, one only communicates with an opaque machine using known RPCs, and one doesn't get the opportunity to know what OS the cloud servers are running; and their correct operation depends on many things other than the OS.

I have doubts about the cloud, as in having to trust floating data, and having everyone's eggs in one basket. In one way, it would be convenient, but in another a risky place to hold data.
What is the risk here? That Microsoft loses the data? Possible, but in my opinion way less likely than losing the data if you build the backup system yourself. Given their scale, Microsoft (and Amazon and Google) is probably much better and finding and preventing bugs, and using redundancy to handle outages. There is another few risks. One is that Microsoft discontinues the service; in that case, I'm sure they will give ample opportunity to retrieve the data first. Or that Microsoft simply goes out business, which is fundamentally unimaginable in the short term.

There is a theoretical risk that Microsoft might take the data hostage, and refuse to allow reading it. I very much doubt this would happen, as the ensuing publicity and lawsuits would destroy them. And that risk also exists if you keep your data on-premises: what if the landlord refuses to let you enter into the building?

And if you really worry about Microsoft going under or stealing the data, then store redundant copies on Amazon and Google. For a cost increase of a factor of 1.5 (with a 2+p RAID encoding across the three cloud vendors), you get much better reliability, against a problem that probably doesn't exist in the first place.

I could understand using the cloud for data that's already out in the open, that would save work from having to rewrite it over again, but I don't understand why it should be used for highly sensitive data, except that convenience is prioritized over sensitive data.
Careful, now you are mixing in a different problem: privacy. You are worried that Microsoft might be able to inspect the data, or leak it to others. That's super easy to fix: encrypt it, and don't share the keys with Microsoft. Matter-of-fact, I think all major cloud storage vendors support a variety of encryption methods.
 

drhowarddrfine

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getopt Not for me. I only have a Facebook account because someone pointed me to a video there, maybe five years ago, that I thought I wanted to see. I didn't but, later, I found out a lot of my relatives were on there so I follow them because they told me to. I rarely post anything there and, now, I find my relatives rarely post anything either so, like most such things like reddit, it's a waste of time mostly.

In any case, they already know me. They should have a file on me, too. And the managers I mention, two of them were high level executives but now retired or semi-retired. Thanks Bausch and Lomb.
 
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