Data Center Dictionary: Disaster Recovery
As with any industry, it is easy to fall into the myopic trap of jargon. In fact, one of my favorite HBR podcasts discusses the burden and challenges that jargon presents (Listen to or read Dan Pallota’s interview with Sarah Green “Business Jargon is Not a Value-Add” here). While we try our best not to over-jargon our customers and friends, it is easy to be ensnared by its occasional usefulness. But sometimes it can valuable to step back, think about what we want to express, and explain it in plain terms. For that purpose, we are going to break down data center jargon down. We want to explain what it is that we do, so all can understand what is actually being communicated.
So without further ado, here is the first installment of our data center dictionary series. Please let us know in the comments section what words you’d like to see explained, and we would be happy to oblige.
What is Disaster Recovery?
Disaster recovery is a plan put in place to make sure your business is adequately prepared to function after any type of disaster. It typically implies what technology plans that will take place, should a disaster occur.
What kinds of disasters should DR include?
There are two different types of disasters that occur: natural disasters and man-made disasters. Natural disasters include tornadoes, wildfires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. Man-made disasters include infrastructure failure, human error, hazardous material spills like Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.
By the Numbers:
In a study from Gartner, Inc., they found that 90% of companies that experience data loss go out of business within two years. Research by IBM (Varcoe, 1993) showed that 80% of organizations without relevant contingency plans who suffered a computer disaster went bankrupt.
How to Reduce Various Threats:
Take preventative measures to avoid disasters. Start by creating a disaster recovery plan and be sure to enforce those policies. Make frequent backups of your critical data or records. Be sure to store this information in a secure and remote location. The typical rule of thumb is to have your disaster recovery site at least 50 miles away from your business or primary colocation (see our upcoming data center dictionary installment on Colocation) site.
Where Should You Start?
Some good questions to ask yourself when preparing for a disaster include:
- How is your business run?
- What is required to keep your business going?
- What are the most critical aspects of day-to-day business?
- What is a reasonable length of time for your business to be up and running from your disaster recovery site if your primary servers and hardware went down? Minutes? Hours? Days?