It has become more and more apparent over the past couple of years that the term disaster recovery just isn’t cutting it anymore. The implication is that something (like your data or your infrastructure) has been lost and you need to do something to “recover” it. It’s a term that expects futility in the face of a disaster and suggests that all that’s left is to pick up the pieces.
In the world of natural disasters and disaster planning, however, there’s another, related term that I think better captures what companies like StorageCraft and our partners are trying to do: disaster resistance.
At its core, disaster resistance is about taking steps to reduce or remove the negative effects of a disaster. Examples from FEMA’s Telling the Tale of Disaster Resistance include everything from building flood protection and installing backup power systems to securing bookshelves and cleaning up debris. Like disaster recovery, disaster resistance isn’t about putting your head in the sand. It’s about knowing what’s coming and making the right choices to fight back.
When it comes to IT disasters (which sometimes are natural disasters), the same idea is true. We can let the disaster hit us and then see what we can pull from the rubble, or we can prepare so that when disaster comes, it bounces right off.
You Can't Recover Lost Time
We live in an age when system downtime is frequently more damaging to us than data loss. We depend on our systems and our data 24/7 and when we lose access to them, business grinds to a halt. We can’t recover that. We can rebuild, we can get things up and running again (assuming we have a good backup), but we can’t replace the business and reputation we lost when we were down.
Sure, sometimes, that’s the best we can hope for, but more and more these days disaster planners are opting to be proactive, to resist.
The first key, then, in IT disaster resistance is preventing system downtime. Of course, a huge part of this is making sure your systems are protected and configured properly, but the causes of IT disaster are many and we obviously can’t protect ourselves from everything. Using virtualization, however, and a solid image-based backup, it’s completely possible these days to launch virtualized copies of your entire system in just minutes. If you’ve been using off-site backups as well, you can usually launch the virtual machines from anywhere you want.
Recovering in Minutes
Of course, it’s easy for me to sit and tell you about disaster resistance, but it’s more effective for you to read about it from our partners. Many of our partners have taken disaster resistance to heart and as a result, they and their customers have been able to weather some of the worst storms Mother Nature has to offer. To understand better what IT disaster resistance is, check out our two papers “How to Prepare for Disaster” and “Disaster Resistance: Five Lessons about Disaster Recovery from Hurricane Sandy.”
And remember, when it comes to disasters, resistance is never futile.
Mat Rayback is Marketing Content Writer at StorageCraft, which works closely with MSPs. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsorship. Read all of StorageCraft’s guest blogs here.