Business Alignment Disaster Recovery — 31 December 2012

Ilissa Miller, CEO of iMiller Public Relations, says:

The International Consortium for Organizational Resilience (ICOR), a prominent organization that certifies data center professionals, defines resilience as “the ability of an organization to rebound following a crisis or a disaster event.” In order to build resilience into a business, there must be a shift in crisis management methodology from reactive to proactive. This is what many data center managed services providers have realized.  There are five key elements to successful service models:

Customer Support: Constant communication between the provider and client organization is critical to maintaining optimal efficiency and productivity. Ideally, technical support teams should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure technical issues are resolved promptly and critical systems are functioning properly.

Redundancy: A managed service provider must provide N+1 redundancy at a minimum across all core systems, whether these are power, cooling, network connectivity or core infrastructure. Effectively identifying critical points of failure and remediating them by implementing redundancy will ensure overall business continuity. This is a critical factor in mitigating the risk of service affecting outages.

Security:  Both physically and virtually. On-site security should entail admittance of only essential personnel to keep the data center operational. The use of cameras, biometrics, 24/7 on-site personnel, or a combination of these – with sufficient redundancy of course, should be implemented to mitigate any failures. Substantial firewalls and virus prevention hardware and software are also crucial. If a hacker is successful in penetrating a client’s network and gains access to critical data, the client’s business is at risk, so sufficient precautions must be taken.

Timely Restoration:  The customer’s data center operations must be reinstated as quickly as possible. Procedures for restoration need to be bulletproof so smooth transitions from the DR site can be achieved. A proven track record, whether through testing or actual disaster recovery, is necessary. Downtime causes loss of revenue, so speedy action is vital. For example, loss of data center availability for a financial institution can typically run upwards of $2 million per hour according to studies published by the META Group.

Maintenance Schedules:  This sometimes takes a backseat to uptime, but unless it is done, there will be downtime. All equipment being used in the data center needs to have regular maintenance. The schedule should be a matter of daily practice for successful managed services providers.

Datagram’s foundation for business continuity services is based on these five factors as evidenced by its case studies and customer testimonials. For more information on Datagram, please visit www.datagram.com.

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