I used to work for Ancestry.com, the largest family history company in the world. One of the interesting challenges I had there was that, while the principles of family history are the same for everyone, each person’s individual quest was radically different. The strategies were the same, but the tactics weren’t.
For example, one line of my ancestors come from Russia, emigrated through Canada, and ended up in Colorado. Each aspect of that journey introduces new, specific challenges that may or may not be covered by high level strategies.
The real challenge was the fact that this individuality within an otherwise global pursuit made it really difficult to talk about the specifics of one customer’s experience in a way that was meaningful to others. There was always a tendency among our customer base to treat success stories as novelties: interesting, but not that useful. They didn’t want to hear about the success of others. They wanted to learn how to succeed in their own journey.
This Time It's Personal
In many ways, writing about disaster recovery is the same. We can talk all we want about our end-to-end disaster recovery solution at a high level, but when the disaster hits your business, it’s personal. It’s not about high-level, philosophical solutions. It’s about your business, your specific problem. It doesn’t matter what’s happened to other people. It matters what’s happening to you.
At the same time, writing and talking about disaster recovery is totally different than writing and talking about family history (beyond the obvious). One of the reasons listening to the successes of others can only get you so far in family history is that those successes are, for all intents and purposes, non-transferrable. Just because someone else effectively used census records to track down their Russian ancestors doesn’t mean that I will be able to do so. In other words, best practices in family history can only get you so far.
With disaster recovery, the differences are not so drastic. Listening to the experiences of others can and does help you. Even though there are hundreds, maybe thousands of disasters that can cripple you, the paths to a successful disaster recovery are few. Sure, the details will vary from implementation to implementation, but in the end, the general steps will be the same and recognizing the successes of others in their disaster recovery sets the stage for your own.
For example, our recent paper on the success of StorageCraft partners in Hurricane Sandy is full of tips and ideas that you can use in your own environment. The same is true of other papers and our growing list of success stories and case studies.
When it comes down to it, the purpose for telling these kinds of stories is the same whether we’re talking about family history or disaster recovery. Even though the best practices of family history won’t lead you right to your ancestors, they make it possible for you to know what to do when you hit a wall. If you know how to effectively search records, for example, you’ll have a much easier time.
The same is true in disaster recovery. Your disaster may not resemble any of those experienced by our partners, but in their successes are the best practices you need to prepare for whatever comes.
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.