Lessons from Hurricane Ian for 30% of cloud users to learn

Natural disasters, such as Hurricane Ian, cause serious damage to business continuity beyond human costs. If an enterprise’s infrastructure is damaged, it can take days or weeks to recover, and the cost of downtime can exceed $100,000 per hour. Fortunately, if you weren’t affected by Hurricane Ian, you should be prepared for the disaster that may come now.
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Areas vulnerable to natural disasters include managed services from cloud service providers, which require enterprise customers to explicitly specify that their apps, compute, and storage redundancy be located in geographically separated regions. According to the Uptime Institute, roughly one-third of enterprises do not distribute cloud applications across multiple geographies, but design them to be vulnerable to service outages in one region.

“Public cloud service providers claim that cloud services are fully managed, and that’s why businesses perceive that they don’t need to prepare for resiliency,” said Navin Chabra, chief analyst at Forrester. Therefore, IT leaders need to ensure that their infrastructure has the necessary resiliency.

Although the cost is significant, this provision of redundancy significantly reduces the likelihood of downtime. It’s not easy to pay extra, but it’s worth considering that the potential impact of downtime is not what it used to be.

“In my experience, disaster recovery programs are too under-invested in all aspects of people, processes, technology and governance,” Chabra said. ROI provides ample justification for many IT initiatives, but unfortunately it’s not disaster recovery. What you need to look at is the realistic cost of downtime.”

In fact, the cost of downtime is greater than expected. According to a recent IDC report, downtime costs an average of $250,000 per hour. According to Doug Matthews, senior vice president of Veritas Technologies, 98% of businesses report that an hour of downtime costs more than $100,000.

Preparing for natural disasters does not stop at the cloud. And focusing on infrastructure rather than applications is a more effective choice. This is because an outage of a single infrastructure can disrupt multiple application services. “Enhancing app resiliency requires a lot of investment, and many companies find it difficult to secure support and investment,” Chabra added.

This infrastructure means having multiple communication options. “It doesn’t depend on typical infrastructure,” said Curtis Preston, chief technology evangelist at Druva, a SaaS-based data protection company. Thus, a resilient infrastructure can span from broadband to MPLS, fixed wireless networks and satellite networks.

Backing up your data is also important, Matthews of Veritas stresses that a 3-2-1-1- strategy must be followed. This means that you should keep at least 3 copies in different locations, use 2 storage media, 1 copy remotely and 1 copy in immutable storage.

Lessons can be learned from Ian and from the case of a Florida service provider that survived a previous hurricane. Verizon has prepared batteries and backup generators in case the power grid goes out. In addition to preparing backup battery power and backup generators at large battery sites, the generators were also filled with fuel in case of typhoons. Of course, it is difficult for a company to prepare for a hurricane at this level. Verizon said it has more than 500 “mobile assets” and can provide services at high altitudes, including through generator-powered sites, as well as drones and fixed-wing aircraft.

Flexential, a colocation service provider, augmented its workforce before the hurricane and set up a mobile immediate response team. According to David Kidd, Flexential’s vice president of risk and compliance, the team has been trained to make sure the data center can operate under extreme conditions. It also checked the availability of supplies to data centers in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and Tampa, Florida. It was supplemented with an emergency fuel supply contract that guarantees fuel delivery in case of emergency, as well as securing 48 hours of fuel.

Druba’s Preston suggested the following preparations for backup and recovery in case of natural disasters.

  • Have a place ready to restore the network. Physical facilities should be reinforced in preparation for typhoon damage.
  • Have a separate local copy of the software you need to start data recovery.
  • Conduct large-scale recovery rehearsals. That way, employees can practice what to do in an actual emergency.
  • Make a plan to back up your server during the recovery process and use the automatic backup feature of your backup software.
  • Prepare a space for the recovery team to eat and sleep and supplies.
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Source: ITWorld Korea by www.itworld.co.kr.

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