StorageShort: The Changing Face of Disasters

When it comes to disaster recovery planning, we tend to focus on grand scale events that impact entire regions of a country. The reality is though that most disasters are smaller in scale. These smaller disasters have a similar severity of the threat, but they only impact one organization instead of many. The threats can range from a cyber-attack to a server or storage system failure and even the loss of the CEO laptop, all of which may be considered a disaster.

To the IT professionals going through a minor disaster, rapid recovery is just as critical, if not more so, as it is for organizations going through a major disaster. In the below StorageShort, we discuss the type and scope of disasters and how to plan for them.

Why Are Micro-Disasters Worse?

Micro disasters only impact one organization, and often only one component of the organization. For example, if a storage system fails, only the applications and workloads connected to that storage system are impacted, but those impacted indeed feel the pressure to recover quickly.

The limited scope of impact is the reason that micro-disasters are worse than major disasters. If, for example, the whole city is under water because of a flood, employees and customers tend to be more patient as IT works to bring systems back online. Clearly, they still need to recover rapidly, and they may have significant regulations that govern how quickly they must be up and running, but IT is often given some leeway as they work through the disaster recovery process. Also, the users and customers that may use the organization’s applications may be going through the same disaster personally, so they may not be trying to access those services.

Micro-disasters like a storage system failure or cyber-attack typically only impact that organization and not the users of their services. It also doesn’t make headlines, so users don’t understand why a particular service or application is down. There isn’t the same amount of patience and leeway that there might be in a more massive disaster. For the IT team impacted by the major disaster, the only advantage they have is that more than likely the entire data center isn’t lost. They still need to recover rapidly, however, and from any situation. In a micro-disaster, the seconds on the recovery clock tick louder.

IT planners need to make sure they can re-route and recover from any of these minor disasters. Rapid recovery likely requires either a second primary storage system, a backup solution with boot from backup capabilities or disaster recovery as a service solution. To learn more about preparing for the full range of potential disasters check out our on demand webinar “Holistic Disaster Recovery; from Data Center to Endpoint.”

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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