As the “Franken Storm” named Sandy pounds the Northeast United States, you have to wonder if the ramifications will be felt in the IT world for longer than just a few days. As of now, there are close to 8 million people without power and all of lower Manhattan is dark. All the office buildings, store fronts and homes are dark.
That begs the question, what about the businesses and their data. The Huffington Post was knocked off line as well as other major players, which goes to show that planning is not always straight forward.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity is an art form best practiced by those who think the glass is half empty. While you can never plan for every issue you can avoid some of the common mistakes.
Do not have your Disaster Recovery system or your fail-over system sitting right next to the primary node. You would not believe how common this is. The simple truth is that if the primary system goes down for any non system issue, the other one will go down also. Fire is a great example. Usually, it is not great panning to have both systems in the same room. If possible not even in the same building or town.
Replication is not backup. If you are replicating your data in either an active/active or active/passive environment you are “replicating” data. So if you get a virus on one side, you get it on both sides. If you get corruption in your application on one side you get it on both sides. This technology is great for Business Continuity however, you still need to do backup in case of corruption or deletion of data.
If using tapes you have to store them offsite. The fact is we see so many customers that keep their tapes in a desk drawer or on a shelf next to the system. Again, fire gets the system and there is a very good chance it also gets the desk and/or the shelf. At least consider a fire and water proof safe on the other side of the building. This is also a very common mistake made by IT professionals.
If you think you are ready, test it. usually you are not. Do you have the right hardware? Do you have the manuals? Do you have the right people in the right place at the right time? You have to test. TEST TEST TEST. Then TEST AGAIN!!!!!! If you think you are ready, consider letting your 6 year old boy loose on your computer systems and then you will find out! Then test again.
While there are other mistakes that you can make, these are very common and easily avoided. Start now by asking a consultant for help. This is a huge step in the right direction. You should also think about reading some of the Disaster Recovery planning guides.
We at STORServer would love to help you with a full range of products and services but what we really care about is you and your data. Are you interested in how your environment could be disaster proofed? Visit our support services section to read about some of the services we offer. If you have questions, just contact us and we’ll be happy to help you find your answers.