Zetta Blog

toy story data recovery IT hero

When Pixar Deleted Toy Story 2 - How Cloud Disaster Recovery Makes a Hero of IT

by Zetta Staff

When someone at Pixar accidentally ran the “RM*” delete command on the Linux and Unix workstations that held all the Toy Story 2 data, they were in a world of trouble . The work of 30 people over a year was deleted in :20 seconds. As tends to happen in data disasters, the local backup system had also been failing for a month without being noticed, so the film was gone.
In the end, a local copy of the data was found on the technical director’s personal laptop at home, and the movie went on to earn $500 million at the box office and a rare 100% on the Tomatometer.

What can we learn from Pixar’s scenario that can benefit other mid-sized enterprises with large amounts of critical data?

1. The Importance of online /cloud backups

The list of reasons not to rely on local backups is long. It includes physical damage like floods and tornadoes that destroy primary data sources and backups at the same time, as well as human errors like in this Pixar case.


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2. Use replicate and sync to ensure that the whole file system is replicated in the cloud

When critical data, like graphics and video effects files, are accidentally deleted, they need to be recovered quickly so people can get back to work. The best way to do this is with a replicated file system in the cloud. Having backup data in a proprietary backup format doesn’t help when it’s time to recover that data for use.
Additionally, any solution that doesn’t let you instantly check the validity of your backups should be considered a deal-breaker. Basically, this means all tape backup systems.

3. Recover quickly via the Internet to dissimilar hardware, even if the datacenter is down

When you’re dealing with a live data disaster recovery scenario, as opposed to a recovering a single file or folder, having web access to replicated backup files that remote employees can work from means business can continue.

4. Importance of multi-platform support

The era of the all “Windows shop” is quickly ending. A backup solution simply must support Linux and Mac OS in addition to Windows. Zetta for example, supports 18 platforms, including 11 different versions of Linux, 5 versions of Windows, and 2 versions of Mac OS.

5. Importance of supporting remote users and offices

VPNs and ad-hoc FTP servers have been a few of the somewhat reliable and secure options for backing up data from remote locations in the past. The evolution of enterprise-grade cloud solutions, like Zetta, now allows you to backup data from remote offices and users in minutes, without the hassle of VPN connections, appliances or servers.
The importance of having a backup and restore that is optimized can’t be understated. When three little characters like “RM*” can erase $500M worth of data, that little monthly fee for cloud backup becomes worth it for the peace of mind alone.


Zetta Staff
Zetta Staff

Zetta’s pioneering cloud backup and recovery technology provides the surest path from data disasters to business as usual.