What Happens When the Lights Go Out?
Power failure? Let the cloud cushion your landing
As if building up the IT systems that support your business wasn’t hard enough, you also need to have a clear plan for restoring your services if you lose power or if a natural disaster strikes. Downtime can be measured in thousands or tens of thousands of dollars per hour, so any sort of outage can quickly become a major problem that you need to remedy as quickly as possible.
But how do you get your business back up and running if your data isn’t available? In the past, doing this meant maintaining a "hot" backup data center, typically located many miles away or even in another state. That site would be set up exactly the same as your primary site, with identical configurations of expensive servers and storage systems to keep copies of all your data. In the event of a failure, the business would switch over to the backup site until normal services resumed.
This approach was so expensive and complex that many businesses simply couldn’t afford it. Thankfully, recent advances in cloud storage make it easy to continuously protect your servers without having to maintain your own secondary data center.
Drop it into the cloud
The trick is to use cloud-storage services, which you may already be familiar with thanks to services like Dropbox, Box, and Mimecast. Just as these services automatically synchronize your local data in a secure part of a cloud provider’s systems, which run in a robust data center that is usually far away from your own business, server protection tools like Lenovo’s Online Data Backup for ThinkServers do the same thing for a whole server worth of data—or more.
Once key corporate data and applications are set to automatically back up to the cloud, a power outage is no longer a problem, because you can access your data from anywhere you can get online.
This means you can still access your core systems and data even if your office is flooded, has suffered fire damage, or has otherwise been compromised. Just set up your employees on laptops in a safe temporary site, and your business will be up and running in no time.
Power without interruption
Although cloud storage services will protect your data from outages, they’re not the only thing to consider when dealing with power outages. If you’re not already using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for key servers, it’s well worth acquiring one so that your systems can ride out short power outages and you can gracefully transfer data to cloud-hosted applications in the event of a longer interruption. Just be sure you get a UPS with enough battery capacity to keep your servers running for a while. That way you can also plug your broadband modem into the UPS and stay online even when the lights go off.
Protecting your data from the unpredictable
New technologies can help you to build a coherent business continuity strategy that will keep your servers online—or at least keep your data accessible—even when nature strikes.
Of course, Expedient Technology takes care of all of these things for our Stress Free IT clients. If you would like more information about our services, please reach out to our IT consultants at (937) 528-7611. We would be happy to meet with you and schedule an assessment when you are ready.