One Small Step for Man One Giant Bill from Tech. Support

Written By: Peter McFraser

Beaming data to the moonit sounds intriguing, but is it really the answer to offsite backup?

Dozens of businesses were unable to recover from 9/11. Having all of their files and backup data in one location added incredible economic damage to the already tragic losses of life. Should businesses anticipate a graver disaster than that of the World Trade Center?

Jumping forward ten, maybe twenty, years…

North Koreas nuclear arsenal builds to an astounding 50,000 warheads (more than the USSR at the peak of the Cold War), the ozone hole exceeds 15 million square miles, and the war on terror wages on. Nevertheless, its businessasusual back in the good old US of A. Investments grow, as does the price of gasoline and real estate. Cures for wouldbelethal diseases are on the brink of discovery, and space travel is available to anyone willing to pay.

Nobody saw it coming. Or more precisely, no one believed it would really happen. Astronomers warned of the day the asteroid would come. And it does.

Barreling through space at unheardof speeds, the asteroid, aptly named the end of days, smashes against the earth like a 400 billion ton hammer. Hundreds of thousands of lives are lost almost immediately. Dust and ash spread across the sky, and the earth whimpers as if the wind were knocked out of her. Over the coming months, the damage is address by the Red Cross like a troupe of girl scouts servicing the Normandy invasion. The economy is in shambles as consumer confidence falls through the floor…and then the basement.

Out of the smoke comes Dennis Laurie, CEO of TransOrbital. In a speech matched only by Sir Winston Churchill, or maybe even Morgan Freeman, he assures the world that rebuilding the economy is possible. The companies that had invested in TransOrbital by sending their backup data to the moon could fly past their competitors and reshape the new world. By retrieving data stored safely in space, these companies redefine the Fortune 500 and become the new leaders in the global economy.

Sound a bit hokey? Thats the claim TransOrbital makes in a recent PC Magazine article.

Laurie said, “September 11 caused people to think about what data backup really means, and there is also always the threat of a natural disaster here on earth, such as a small asteroid hitting the planet.”

Would it really workdata centers on the moon? The plan is to build server-friendly environments that could provide the atmosphere necessary for self-healing servers. Small shelter-like structures that could keep a normal temperature, air pressure, etc. need to be built on the moon; currently, Tran Orbital is the only company with the licensing to do it.

While theyre up there, TransOrbital, using Hewlett-Packard technology, plans to make live digital images of the earth available on the web. They also offer to ship personal objects to the moon for safe-keeping for a small fee of $2500 per gram.

The proposal certainly has its fair share of skeptics. The biggest argument being that the likelihood of an asteroid hitting the earth is miniscule compared to one hitting the moon. Earths atmosphere burns up most of the debris that would otherwise hit the surface, while the moon has no such protection. Others wonder about upgrading, repairs, and maintenance. As one reader put it, At 75$ and hour and 30 cents per mile, thats one hefty bill from tech support.

About The Author

Peter McFraser is a marketing representative of Exabyte, located in Boulder, Colorado. Learn more about how you can backup your data by going to http://www.exabyte.com/technology/summaries/backup-data.cfm.

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