Disaster Recovery Solutions - The Right Way and the Hard Way

Posted by Mark Teter, Chief Technology Officer
November 12, 2012

Back in the searing heat of August summer we blogged about the importance of disaster recovery solutions . At the time, there were environmental conditions that brought the topic of disaster recovery to the forefront, including drought, soaring temperatures, fires, and even floods.

Fast-forward to today and we arrive in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, which tested the backup and business continuity plans of nearly every organization in its wake. The stock market shut down voluntarily (though I’m not sure how voluntarily) for the first time since 9/11. Businesses of all sizes suddenly had the concern of their employees’ well-being to worry about and many of them shut down to assess and clean up.

The message here—from an IT business-perspective only—is don’t wait until it’s too late to do something. People who didn’t heed the advice of their local government officials and chose to ‘ride out’ the storm wish they hadn’t. Others wish they had purchased generators and gasoline when it was available prior to the storm.

The right way to handle managing business disaster recovery solutions is to be prepared. These 6 disaster recovery best practices are some key things to consider:

1. Get a thorough Business Impact Assessment (BIA)

2. Find experienced disaster recovery/business continuity planners and project managers

3. Invest the appropriate resources, budget, and time

4. Plan alternate lines of communication

5. Test thoroughly and frequently

6. Keep your plans accurate and up to date

The hard way can be, well… hard. A recent Computerworld article told the story of Peer1 Data Center in Lower Manhattan. When power went out, their rooftop generator kicked on—but then flooding disabled their ability to get fuel to the roof to power the generator, and employees and even customers had to get involved.

A network of people, stationed at every staircase landing, formed a bucket brigade passing fuel from one person to the next. Several dozen may have been involved over multiple shifts, including some day laborers who were also hired to help.

In the end this unique solution avoided disaster for many businesses, but this is the hard way. For sure!

About Mark Teter Before he retired from ASG in 2013, Mark Teter was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the author of 'Paradigm Shift: Seven Keys of Highly successful Linux and Open Source Adoptions.' As CTO, Mark regularly advised IT organizations, vendors, and government agencies, and he frequently conducted seminars and training programs.

Filed Under: Disaster Recovery

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