October 28th marked the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, the epic storm that ravaged the Northeastern part of the United States. Living in NJ where the hurricane made landfall and having family that lives across much of the state we personally lived through the hurricane and its aftermath. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year already. It’s an experience we’ll never forget, and we have made plans to ensure that we’re prepared in case anything like that happens again. Business mirrors Life in many cases, and when I speak with customers across the country the topic of disaster recovery comes up often. The conversations typically have the following predictable patterns:
- I’ve just inherited the technology and systems of company X (we’ll call it company X to protect the innocent), and we have absolutely no backup or disaster recovery strategy at all. Can you help me?
- We had a disaster recovery strategy, but we haven’t really looked at it in a very long time, I’ve heard Cloud Computing can help me. Is that true?
- We have a disaster recovery approach we’re thinking about. Can you review it and validate that we’re leveraging best practices?
- I’m spending a fortune on disaster recovery gear that just sits idle 95% of the time. There has to be a better way.
The list is endless with permutations, and yes there is a better way. Disaster recovery as a workload is a very common one for a Cloud Computing solution, and there’s a number of ways you can approach it. As with anything there are tradeoffs of cost vs. functionality and typically depends on the business requirements. For example a full active/active environment where you need complete redundancy and sub second failover can be costly but potentially necessary depending on your business requirements. In the Financial Services industry for example, having revenue generating systems down for even a few seconds can cost a company millions of dollars.
We have helped companies of all sizes think about, design and implement disaster recovery strategies. From Pilot Lights, where there’s just the glimmer of an environment, to warm standby’s to fully redundant systems. The first step is to plan for the future and not wait until it’s too late.
-Mike Triolo, General Manager East