Rogue One and Data Management – A Galactic Problem

tape-libraryThis is the most unapologetically nerdy post I have ever written. It also might contain what some consider spoilers of the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One. If you care then stop now. If you work in technology in general and content management specifically and don’t care about anything Star Wars you have other issues but then let this be a primer for you. You are going to need it.

Let me explain

Along with a third of humanity I saw Rogue One over the weekend. I walked out of the theater not with hope but with an impending since of dread. Every presentation from every vendor that is even remotely connected with managing data will be using this movie as an illustration. The message of this film could not be more clear. Even in a galaxy far, far away people do stupid things with their most important data.

Let’s get the summary out of the way for the hermits. The rebels steal the plans to the Death Star in the new movie Rogue One and blow it up in A New Hope otherwise referred to as Episode 4 made almost forty years ago.

How does this cliché burdened rag tag group manage to pull it off? Because the “Galactic” Empire (those were sarcastic quotes BTW) backs up the plans in only one place using a verkakte 100 story juke box that works like an arcade Claw Crane which mysteriously droids can’t use even though they routinely perform neurosurgery and shield repair while under blaster fire in the vacuum of space.

Ok – take a breath. Rant over. It’s a movie. Back to my prediction.

Here are just a few data practice illustrations from this movie you are destined to see repeated endlessly by clever pundits desperately trying to connect to a disinterested conference audience.

  • Data Security is still a Physical Problem – The Empire copies all their data off site. That sounds like a good idea. Someplace impenetrable and well defended. Let’s call it Iron Planet. But one data center? You have the entire galaxy and you don’t have a back up data center?
  • eDiscovery is a Galactic Problem – The demand from the evil “Director” Orson Krennic to see everything ever sent there by the engineer responsible for sabotaging the design is the single most realistic scene in the entire film. He couldn’t call first? Everybody I know in IT that ever had one of those conversations can relate.
  • The Inside Man – The biggest threat to any data management strategy is inside not outside the organization. Ever hear of a guy named Snowden? Galen Erso though is the new poster child for disgruntled employees seeking revenge on abusive management. Management tip. If you shoot your engineer’s wife it is not likely to reflect well on your next 360.
  • Encryption Anyone? – There is no end to the number of plots that would stall in modern entertainment if a teenager couldn’t decrypt secret government files in under two minutes. That said, the empire doesn’t even bother. We’ll just leave everything out in the open because no one could ever get in here. (see previous bullet) We’ll give the files cool code names. That’ll do it.
  • Ever hear of Metadata? – Your browsing through the designs for a space station the size of a moon and the best way you have to find anything is the file name? Google “Stardust” for crying out loud.
  • THAT STUPID JUKEBOX – see previous rant. I know budgets are tight but time to let that go.

There are more I am sure. And just between us I liked the movie (the last thirty minutes at least) and will personally be using every one of these examples the first chance I get.

I finally have a context to explain to my family what I do for a living.


Postscript : Superfluous Rants

It’s the rebellion not the WWII French resistance. Were they using left over dialog from ‘Allied?’ (Which honestly could have used a few exploding spaceships to make up for Brad Pitt’s wooden imitation of Hayden Christensen)

The plot for the whole thing was suspiciously similar to the Val Kilmer 1984 classic Top Secret.

5 thoughts on “Rogue One and Data Management – A Galactic Problem

  1. So would you be satisfied with an “Active-Passive” disaster recovery scenario? ;>)

    1. I don’t think passive is a word the empire uses often so . No. Active active is the only way. It’s the rule of two (I get extra nerd points for that reference )

  2. Nice points. Laughed and cried through the whole thing because of these! I kept thinking encryption? tsunami? Why would you put your RM center on a water planet? Wouldn’t a dead moon be better?

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