Sure, the storm they call Sandy is behind us, but is it really? Not for many people. When you think of Sandy, perhaps a friend comes to mind. Maybe that young lady from summers at the lake when you were a kid, or the state of your shoes after walking the beach. Looking for the meaning behind the name I discovered it meant "defender of men, or mankind." Perhaps now we can append to that "destroyer of worlds."
No matter what Sandy meant to you before, now it likely brings to mind the storm that ravaged parts of the world. By now most of us have seen the pictures from different parts of the U.S., especially coming from NYC. (thoughts and well wishes to all affected by the tragedy)
All of this talk of Sandy got me thinking about disaster recovery. Many major hub sites in NYC went down. How many of them had a disaster recovery site to fail over to? What about in New Jersey? Or in Pennsylvania? A lot of business were caught completely off guard. Sometimes it’s that first disaster that makes us work that DR site into the budget.
Undoubtedly many businesses will begin thinking of how they can be better prepared next time. Where can you find help with such things? There are any number of resources. Your local VAR's and vendors will likely be an excellent source of information but Cisco and others also have some great guides available on their websites.
For instance, this white paper focuses on the planning for an effective DR strategy.
It highlights the different phases of preparation and how to put together a professional plan. Establish expected or possible disasters, how they might impact your facility, what the ramifications would be. Can you factor for cost? Time? Who would be involved? Who is notified?
What about the site itself? While the white paper didn't focus on it, there are still considerations for what kind of DR site you might use. Is your site a cold site with the infrastructure but no hardware? Or is it a fully functional site that is ready to go? The costs associated with each choice are very different. What makes the most sense for your organization?
No matter where you live, mother nature can create all sorts of weather that can potentially spell disaster. If the events of this past week tell us anything it’s that none of us are immune. While budgets force us to focus on concerns that are more immediate it cannot be said enough that an effective disaster strategy can save us all headaches. Whatever strategy you look to employ, make sure you at least have a plan. It will go a long way when one of Sandy's siblings comes to visit next time.