On May 27, 1997, an F5 tornado ripped through the central Texas town of Jarrell. The powerful storm ripped the roof off of a grocery store and literally pulled roads up from the earth. When the tornado had finally cleared, 27 townspeople had lost their lives and millions of dollars in damage was left in its wake. 23 miles south in the city of Round Rock, the executives of a major computer company sat at headquarters and faced a sobering reality: had the storm been just a little closer, the multi-billion dollar company could have been knocked offline for days…or worse.

In the coming months, the enterprise would work quickly to set up a facility in Oklahoma City that could easily replicate the work taking place in Round Rock should the facility suffer through a disaster like a tornado. Now, 16 years later, the entire Round Rock operation can be transferred to Oklahoma City with the flip of a switch. From phones and database access to sales support and account maintenance, they implemented a robust disaster recovery solution that protects not just their business, but their customers as well.

Disaster recovery solutions are a necessary part of any business.  Does your organization have a real plan in place or are you one of the many companies gambling that significant misfortune won’t happen to you?  It should come as no surprise that the alarming thing about disasters is that their unpredictability is what makes the consequences of poor planning so severe. Sadly, almost half of all businesses that suffer a significant interruption without a disaster recovery plan in place never reopen. How prepared are you?

It’s may sound silly, but some IT departments pretend that data backups are a legitimate substitute for an actual disaster recovery plan. Nothing could be further from the truth!  Restoring data loss doesn’t address interruption in business activity, security breaches, or intrusions, much less the applications and machines themselves. For example, flooding in an office building can ruin workstations and servers. Simply buying new hardware and restoring data does nothing to ensure all systems on the network are working together the way they should.

Business impacting disasters

A breakdown of business impacting disasters. Image courtesy of Datasource.net

A true disaster recovery solution for your organization or your clients should address a wide range of issues. Here are some important questions that you should ask yourself about your business:

  • Business Continuity – How quickly can the business be brought back online?  How soon until we can attend to our customers?

  • Security – Are our physical assets under lock and key or are we vulnerable to theft?  Is the network vulnerable to intrusions and hackers?

  • Process workflow – How do we make sure our systems are communicating with each other correctly so as to not adversely impact our business?

Would you believe that every dollar spent on a disaster recovery solution actually saves four dollars in post-disaster spending? And that spending doesn’t even account for lost productivity among employees or lost customers due to downtime.  There is also another competitive advantage to implementing a disaster recovery plan. Companies that have a plan in place will benefit when the customers of companies that are shuttered look for new vendors or service providers. Being open for business when everyone else is closed is a benefit all on its own.

Heavy winds can blow out windows and leave offices in disrepair.

An office in a building in the path of a tornado. Image courtesy of DDMCDN

So why wouldn’t everyone embrace a disaster recovery solution?   Well, the two most common objections revolve around the time and cost needed to implement the plan. This perspective doesn’t make much sense. Consider the fact that many organizations provide health insurance to employees so that those workers are more likely to stay healthy and thus more likely to be productive at the office.  Many organizations carry commercial liability insurance to protect themselves financially in the event someone trips and falls or a fire burns down the building.  Implementing a disaster recovery solution is no different: substantially protecting the future for an incremental investment of time and money in the present.

Planning for a day that may never come is neither foolish nor silly.  Having a disaster recovery plan in place is an asset to your business and a benefit to everyone that counts on you, from customers to employees. Planning for the unthinkable will help you sleep better at night while less-prepared competitors are lying awake.  Contact us at Mosaic NetworX today to learn more about how we can help you plan for any unforeseen event in the datacenter.