Database Server Backup to Hybrid Onsite/Cloud FAIL

This is a very instructive nightmare:

  1. Environment with fancy new VSS-aware hybrid local and cloud backup gets hit by crypto malware.
  2. Turns out backups are based on timestamps, which Pervasive/PSQL often doesn’t change. Only possibility is to go back to last server backup, five weeks prior.
  3. Backup was too big to save that long locally.
  4. Cloud backup was only retained for three weeks.
  5. Old server and its backups were recently scrapped.
  6. Customer had to re-install database and re-create data from scratch.

Note that it was no problem to get to the boot screen locally or in the cloud. They just couldn’t get a usable database.


  1. Seeing a boot screen does not mean the full machine is restorable.
  2. Restoring a couple random flat files is not an adequate disaster recovery test of a machine with a database.
  3. Database backups require separate planning and testing.VSS is not always enough.

The author has specific steps for testing and backing up PSQL, but the same principles apply to any database system.

Originally cited on WServerNews Vol 21 #39. Full article (PDF) here.

Are your databases adequately protected?

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