Cloud disasters can and will happen. Are you prepared?

Imagine what would happen to your organization in the event of a prolonged cloud outage. Are you prepared to handle it?

cloud outage disaster recovery

It's going to happen, and happen to you and your organization. No, I'm not a salesguy, otherwise bereft of booth babes at RSA. I'm a systems engineer going back to the days of SNA, DSLAMs, CSU/DSUs, ARCNet over NetWare, and other ancient interconnect. Stuff happens.

So, whatchya gonna do? What is your plan?

Did you notice how none of this cloud stuff talks to none of this cloud stuff among competing vendors? Even the mighty Open Data Center Alliance can't help you if you don't have a plan, and haven't tried to do a failover successfully.

This year, thankfully, we dodged a number of hurricanes and tornadoes. The snows were gruesome, but it was rare to see data centers go down because of it. The cloud usually kept on ticking.

But need I remind you of the Chicago River Flood? Katrina? The Oklahoma and Alabama tornadoes? The Nepal Earthquake? Go ahead and fight all of the malware bad guys, crackers, Rumanian spear fishermen, Chinese armies, all you want. Mother Nature is bigger. Trust me on this.

Last weekend, I drove to Chicago and watched the last remnants of several bouts of tornadoes on Indiana Hwy 37 as it's being transformed into Interstate 69. The treetops, once mangled several times by untold windforce, are now largely gone from the sides of the highway as you approach Indianapolis from the south. I can remember when whole rows of homes and buildings for several miles were sucked into the tornado. They've recovered, the traces largely gone, the insurance paid.

But as I think of the cloud, and the seeming inherent lack of data exchange—especially at the consumer level—I shudder to think of what a fault-line fiber cable break could do. BGP and other OSPF protocols would go berserk trying to find new routes. Online video streams of prize fights could be interrupted, after all.

People couldn't get their Facebooks. Twitter wouldn't tweet. OMG—no Snapchat or Pinterest. Salespeople would fall asleep, without trolling LinkedIn for leads. You'd have to pay cash. Everywhere. Imagine that. Celltowers wouldn't be able to transfer phone calls or let you play Angry Birds. Perhaps cars on the freeway would glide to a gentle stop, unable to get maps from their GPS coordinates. Apple Watches would be unsure what time it was. Imagine: No Netflix.

And your organization, likely very dependent on cloud resources, would need to execute a backup plan. And it had better be successful. What would five days of lost revenue do to $yourcompany?

I used to message to my friends once a month like clockwork: Do your damn backups. That was in the days when hard disk reliability was equal to the timeliness of a tax refund check in a good year. Now it's a bit better, both ways. What's unknown is what happens when your critical links go dark.

Better find out.

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