Business · CIO

Outages happen. How prepared are you for the next one?

Significant outages hit several major firms today including United Airlines, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Wall Street Journal. And that was just this morning alone. While many suggest a correlation between the three, I will leave that to the experts.

The point is, outages happen. How prepared you are and how you respond to the next outage is what matters.

DR/ BC: Not new and still broken

The bottom line is that disaster recovery and business continuity is not new and is still broken. IT organizations have cobbled together solutions for decades with limited success. There are shining lights but often they are startups based on an entirely different culture.

Are you only using backups? How do you know you’re backing up the right information? Is that enough? Generally, the answers are less flattering than most would want.

Redundancy doesn’t cut it either. Organizations continue to build redundancy into systems to the point of over complicating systems. And complication leads to greater risk of missing a step along the way

Today, backups and redundancy is not enough. Building to increase the number of 9’s of uptime is not the answer either. Organizations need to go beyond that.

Time to streamline

There are a number of ways this problem can be resolved. DR/ BC is a must but not using traditional means. Investment is needed, and there are clever solutions available today. This is more than just a technology problem. It involves process, organization and culture. Think about DevOps. Think about how to streamline.

 

Remember: The more the complicated the system, the longer to troubleshoot. And the greater the risk to both the company and its customers. How prepared are you for the next outage?

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3 thoughts on “Outages happen. How prepared are you for the next one?

  1. Tim, I truly appreciate your thoughts and writing on this, as it is certainly something that needs to be addressed. I am going to leave my comments here – but they are my opinion, not my company’s. Having 30 years of recovery experience with a 100% success rate we build availability into our production and recovery solutions, for our clients, leveraging our intellectual capital and vast experience of building and purposefully breaking many data centers every day. One of the key areas we see gaps from companies is testing. Without testing organizations will fail to meet their recovery time objectives during a disaster. Prior to testing, there must be a plan (often times not updated, and thus creating a discrepancy between Prod & DR), and before a plan their has to be a strategy (very often not in place). Lastly in many cases – we see IT folks that should be focusing their efforts on getting production back up and running, but instead spending their time trying hard to get recovered in the second site. By leveraging a 3rd party with proven experience in creating resilient enterprises, organizations can get their IT team back to focusing on driving innovation and ensuring IT stays credible to the business. It reminds me of my tweet earlier today: Focus on innovation not running systems to avoid being Ubered: Be an instigator of digital disruption http://ow.ly/PknTq – Sincerely, Adam Shorr https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamshorr

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