Think Ahead Before Disaster Strikes
As North America enters ‘hurricane season’, I followed the path of hurricane Florence. I had been watching from the comfort of Europe at the Systems Partner Summit 2018. I was also following the huge Typhoon Mangkhut that had been slamming the Philippines. When people think Disaster Recovery (DR), natural disasters are often our first thought, especially when something is occurring in front of you in real-time. Media tends to promote these events so that even if you are not in the path of these weather events, the news of them is amplified. As more and more institutions rely on remote data centers or cloud data centers, what does that means in terms of disaster recovery? That is a great question for you to think of because even those data centers should have a plan right? Many of them will talk about redundant power supplies and hardened sites. It is important to know the physical location of the data centers that you are putting your data in and also what their plans are for natural (and unnatural) disasters. I was happy to see a connection of mine on LinkedIn post an article that deals with this very issue. The article talks about how Amazon, Google and Microsoft all have data centers that could be in the path of hurricane Florence.
I know that a few of our customers in the possible impact area contacted us and said that they were going to be proactive and switch to their DR site BEFORE the hurricane hit. To me that is very smart thinking. Why not do a switchover and ensure you are safe and running? It is a good test of your DR solutions and it is preventative rather than having to panic in a hurried situation. But reading this article got me to thinking that having your database ‘elsewhere’ or in the cloud may not be enough. You have to think strategically and wonder what is the plan for those cloud vendors if they go down? That is why you also may want to have an Inter Cloud DR strategy.
For those who have their primary databases with one cloud vendor, you may want to have a DR site in a totally different geographical location. Then in the event of a disaster or impending disaster, you could completely switchover so as not to worry about the disaster impacting your data. You could even have a different cloud vendor as the DR site. This would allow you to check out how different clouds work. So as this hurricane season begins, think about your DR strategy and how putting your DR in the Cloud needs to be thought through in the same way that you think about DR on-premises.