Courting Disaster: Denial is NOT an Option

At the start of hurricane season, thoughts turn to disaster preparedness. While water incursion and flooding from storms and hurricanes can be a cause of downtime, many data center operators should be thinking about disaster recovery and business continuity measures despite the season.

With the beginning of June, hurricane season is underway for East Coast of the United States, and a number major storms may make landfall between now and the end of the season in late November. While citizen disaster readiness is important, disaster planning and preparation in the data center can be just as vital to communities and businesses, as data centers support mission critical functions such as emergency services, health care data, financial services or insurance operations.

While water incursion and flooding cause downtime, data center operators should be thinking about disaster recovery and business continuity in all seasons. The most common causes of data center downtime include UPS failures, human error, CRAC unit failures and circuit breaker failures, according to a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute for Emerson Network Power. The researchers found that 95 percent of companies experienced unplanned downtime between 2008 and 2010.

Yet, despite the relatively common occurrence of downtime issues, more than 15 percent of data centers have no plan for business continuity or disaster recovery and only half of data center respondents have any procedures established to replace critical hardware following a disaster, according to a survey by AFCOM, the leading association of data center professionals.

It shouldn’t take a disaster to start developing a disaster plan or testing it. Because every DR plan needs regular reviews to make sure you are fully prepared for any disaster that may occur. While data center managers know these fundamentals, unfortunately there are often internal barriers to disaster recovery planning and testing.

Read more about the factors that hold data center managers back, as well as strategies to break through the barriers to effective disaster recovery planning in the full article - Courting Disaster: Denial is NOT an Option - from the June issue of Data Center Management Magazine, which is the print publication of AFCOM. The article is a free preview (registration required) from the magazine, which is available to AFCOM members.

Data Center Knowledge will be presenting more articles from the Data Center Management Magazine June edition throughout this month.

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