Recently the user community at Reddit launched an initiative to make March 31st World Backup Day. As often happens at Reddit, it didn't take long before the movement had a web site and Twitter feed. The site and comment section encourage providers of online backup services to observe World Backup Day by offering discounts on their backup plans.
Surely data center professionals wouldn't need a special prompt to check their backups. Right? Alas, no. The AFCOM State of the Data Center report released Wednesday found that 15 percent of respondents said their data center has no plan for data backup and recovery. What's more 50 percent have no plan to replace damaged equipment after a disaster.
"When it comes to disaster recovery, the survey results are indicative of the investment activity we have seen in data centers throughout the recession - focus on immediate needs, with business continuity and disaster recovery planning considered a luxury,” said Richard Sawyer, Worldwide Practice Leader, Critical Facilities Assurance at HP Critical Facility Services, and member of the Data Center Institute Board of Directors. “But now, with the regional disasters in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, and the turmoil in the Middle East, we are reminded it is a management necessity to be prepared for anything.”
Real-World Data Disasters
The consequences are real, as we've seen in data disasters that have wiped out widely used sites. That's what happened with the social bookmarrking site Ma.gnolia, which lost all of its user data in a 2009 incident. While Ma.gnolia was a small operation, data disasters can strike large outfits as well. Just ask T-Mobile and Microsoft, which experienced a near-death experience with data for users of its Sidekick mobile device. Most of the data was eventually recovered, but the incident proved that data backup and disaster recovery woes aren;t just a small company concern.
As the saying goes: Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. When real disaster occurs - be it flood, fire or other natural or man-made problems - the speed and quality of recovery and business continuity is dependent on the quality of planning and training of staff and managers.
That preparation and training must be ongoing. Data Center Knowledge covers the topic of disaster recovery on a regular basis as well as publishing guest columns from experts on the topic, such as those below by Richard Dolewski, who is a certified systems integration specialist and disaster recovery planner and Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Business Continuity Services for WTS.