The hurricane season is an unfortunate but regular fact of life for businesses operating along the east coast of the United States of America.
Three years ago this month Hurricane Sandy swept up the eastern seaboard from the Caribbean leaving death and devastation in its trail. The combination of high tides and ferocious wind speeds ripped apart the physical infrastructure of many towns and cities causing $billions of damage to homes and business. Among the more high profile organisations affected were the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. Even the New York Stock Exchange had to close its doors.
While thankfully this year the hurricane season looks to be a lot calmer, with Hurricane Joaquin currently forecast to weaken as it moves towards Florida, there are lessons to be learned from previous experiences. As anyone running an IT department knows, the devastation caused by the loss of power and destruction of on-site servers and technology by storms, flood and fire can be catastrophic for a business.
An important aspect of future planning is to look at the risks posed by freak weather events. If you are a business that could be affected here are some of the questions you should be asking:
- How much downtime can your business realistically withstand?
- Do you have off-site backup for your data?
- Can you restore your data quickly?
- Can you virtualize your IT infrastructure off site?
- Can you trust your hosting provider to act quickly to help you?
Backup and Disaster Recovery is critical when considering how to protect your IT operations and infrastructure. A well prepared DR plan means you can recover your business critical data and systems, protecting your reputation and relationship with customers in the process.
iomart Cloud Inc. (our American subsidiary doing great things in the US) recently helped a legal firm in Florida to move its data as a large tropical storm threatened. The firm had its data stored on-site in a non-redundant, flood-zoned office area and needed a quick, efficient way to make it safe.
30TB of data was backed up using an EMC Avamar M2400 and stored on an EMC DataDomain 2500 before being shipped to iomart’s data center in Virginia where it was seeded to a multi-tenant environment for true DR. iomart has a fully managed, high availability VMware environment running alongside the backup environment, which allows customers the option to carry out fast restores to iomart’s IaaS platform in the event of a DR scenario.
Marc Kelly, VP Sales, iomart Inc., explains, “Due to the urgency and the high volume and type of data, we took a hybrid approach for backup and DR with real-time backup. While we replicated their daily short term data from the last week over the Internet, everything else was backed up onsite and then uplifted, shipped and seeded successfully to our facility in Virginia before the storm hit.”
As Alphonzo Albright, the former CTO of the Office of Information Technology in New York City said recently when reflecting on the lessons learnt from Hurricane Sandy, “One of the biggest mistakes a tech leader can make is to put the development of a business continuity plan on their “to do” list and then fail to get it done.” The same goes for Disaster Recovery too.
To find out how we can help your business in the US, email our Florida-based team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office on +1 954 880 1680.