Sandy: Another Cruel Lesson in DR Planning

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 An often-cited study conducted by US congress a couple years ago reports that after suffering a major data-loss disaster, almost 30% of businesses close within 2 years because the damage to their operations is too great.  Even worse, over 40% of organizations who suffer a catastrophic data loss simply never re-open at all.  I have mixed emotions watching the news and seeing how tremendous the impact of hurricane Sandy has been on the the populated areas of US east coast.  On the one hand I feel terrible for the people who are losing their homes and their businesses.  On the other hand, I get angry at the people who knew better and had the resources to do better … (usually short-sighted executives) who will inevitably slap their foreheads or point the finger, wishing they had taken the time and resources to invest in a proper DR plan for their business and protect their data from disaster.

Thankfully, there are lots of stories out there of people doing it right and who are high-fiving their IT guys for making sure the data and systems could withstand disaster.  We’ve got a good friend Sean who runs an MSP in the heart of Sandy’s path – he emailed me from a high school gym-turned-shelter to let me know that he and family and his team were all safe earlier this week.  He was knocking on wood that over the past year he has helped most of his clients get their servers and storage systems out of the office and into a secure data center.  A few had even called to say thanks!  A tiny silver lining on a terrible week for his community: while the storm damage was terrible, thanks to the investment they made into a resilient IT system, they likely won’t become one of the tragic statistics above.  Offices can be rebuilt, but lost information is gone forever.

Nothing hurts worse than regret.  Disasters are inevitable.  Bad things WILL happen.  You have a choice.  Take the time and invest in a proper DR plan for your business … or keep rolling the dice.

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