Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Cloud Security, @BigDataExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

When Natural Disaster Strikes

Tips for protecting your business in the eye of the storm

In 2013, the total cost of natural disasters reached $192 billion, according to recent research from Impact Forecasting, a division of reinsurance company Aon Benfield, who conducts these reports each year.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy topped 2013's most costly natural disaster. With damage estimated at over $60 billion, Sandy is the second most expensive hurricane on record in the United States. Countless businesses lost revenue while waiting for power to return, or floods to subside. But many others were prepared, thanks to the IT professionals who made sure they had the right technology in place to weather any storm. In the eye of the storm, there are a few positive stories that came out of this devastating disaster.

Spinning Up Systems in the Cloud to Avoid Downtime
As Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast the night of Oct. 29, a financial asset management business in Manhattan saw its servers going down as the floodwaters from New York Harbor rose. But its Connecticut-based IT service provider had prepared them for such an event, and spun up a virtual version of the business' entire infrastructure in the cloud. This gave the asset management firm's clients uninterrupted access to services, even through the eye of the storm.

In the storm's wake, another IT service provider in New Jersey did a cloud-based failover for one of its clients, an investment management company. Since the IT provider had technology in place to replicate the firm's data, applications and systems in the cloud, the business was able to continue without loss of productivity or revenue. These financial businesses were subject to industry regulations for the backup and recovery of client data, and had their reputation hanging in the balance. So the IT provider's quick work with the right technology proved to be a priceless lifeline.

In addition to the above examples, dozens of IT providers in Sandy's path used the latest technology to spin up virtual offices, restore corrupted files and recover damaged servers for their customers in many types of industries. Their heroism is not only in knowing what to do during an emergency, but preparing well in advance with technology that delivers real business protection when needed.

Not All Backup Is Created Equal
Sadly, not all businesses had the right systems in place to protect and restore their information and systems during Sandy's onslaught. More than 57 percent of businesses in North America still rely on tape backup, which is costly, highly prone to error and calls for cumbersome manual intervention. Tape-reliant businesses on the East Coast will likely spend weeks piecing together their data and getting their IT systems fully back online. Some may never recover.

As illustrated by the businesses that were well prepared for Sandy, those with the right technology in place have no reason to fear.

Here are some disaster preparedness tips for businesses to follow and use as a checklist to ensure they are prepared the next time a natural disaster strikes:

1. Take Care of Employees

  • Have a basic emergency supply kit ready.
  • Make sure everyone knows your evacuation procedures.
  • Plan where to meet and whom to contact after an evacuation.

2. Identify Assets Most Critical to your Business

  • Which data do your customers need the most?
  • Which systems and applications are essential to your day-to-day operations?
  • How long can your business wait while you recover from a failure or disaster?

3. Determine what your Business is Most at Risk For

  • Understand what an hour or day of IT interruption and application downtime could cost your business and what could cause downtime.
  • Know the elevation of your office to decide whether you're at risk of flooding.
  • Conduct an earthquake and fire safety evaluation.

4. Evaluate the Solution(s) you Have in Place

  • Can you virtualize your entire IT infrastructure off-site?
  • Can your disaster recovery solution be centrally managed?
  • Do you have a dependable solution that automatically backs up your most recent files?

5. Evaluate your Solution Provider

  • Do they offer a single, simple solution to protect your business information and eliminate IT downtime?
  • Do they have a disaster preparedness plan of their own so that they can help you during a disaster?
  • Is their solution built on reliable hardware and software? Are they dependent on other vendors?

6. Write a Recovery Plan

  • Clearly define and document the steps needed to recover your network and ensure employee safety.
  • Post recovery steps around the office for employees to see.

7. Regularly Test your Recovery Plan

  • Review your plan documentation on a quarterly basis with department heads.
  • Make sure department heads review disaster recovery procedures with their teams. Conduct live tests at least twice per quarter.

8. Stay Informed and Communicate with Others

  • Stay current on weather forecasts in your area.
  • Make sure all other businesses in your network also have a disaster preparedness plan.
  • Decide how you will communicate with partners and customers, and listen to local authorities for updates.

More Stories By Justin Moore

Justin Moore is a serial entrepreneur, early-stage advisor, and angel investor. He is recognized as an authority on cloud computing, SMB market strategy, and startups. Justin is currently Founder and CEO of Axcient, a leading provider of backup, business continuity and disaster recovery cloud services to the SMB market.

Prior to Axcient, Moore founded MK Global, which provided an innovative approach to addressing the surplus of secondary market telecommunications equipment after the dot-com collapse and founded CollegeJobs.com.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
Interoute has announced the integration of its Global Cloud Infrastructure platform with Rancher Labs’ container management platform, Rancher. This approach enables enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation and infrastructure investments. Matthew Finnie, Interoute CTO commented “Enterprises developing and building apps in the cloud and those on a path to Digital Transformation need Digital ICT Infrastructure that allows them to build, test and deploy faster than ever before. The int...
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, discussed how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a practic...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, will discuss some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and relate how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material will be delivered i...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
Imagine having the ability to leverage all of your current technology and to be able to compose it into one resource pool. Now imagine, as your business grows, not having to deploy a complete new appliance to scale your infrastructure. Also imagine a true multi-cloud capability that allows live migration without any modification between cloud environments regardless of whether that cloud is your private cloud or your public AWS, Azure or Google instance. Now think of a world that is not locked i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Auditwerx will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Auditwerx specializes in SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 attestation services throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), one of the top 20 largest CPA firms nationally, you can expect the resources, skills, and experience of a much larger firm combined with the accessibility and atten...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
MongoDB Atlas leverages VPC peering for AWS, a service that allows multiple VPC networks to interact. This includes VPCs that belong to other AWS account holders. By performing cross account VPC peering, users ensure networks that host and communicate their data are secure. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jay Gordon, a Developer Advocate at MongoDB, will explain how to properly architect your VPC using existing AWS tools and then peer with your MongoDB Atlas cluster. He'll discuss the secur...