TotalCIO

Oct 7 2010   9:35PM GMT

Wit and wisdom from the world of disaster recovery solutions

4Laura Laura Smith Profile: 4Laura

For those of you who spend your days thinking about business continuity, and your nights tossing around disaster recovery solutions, I thought I would share some of the wit and wisdom gleaned from my readers and sources these last two weeks.

The funniest comment regarding my article this week on SearchCIO.com about Austin Powder Co.’s DR plan, post-virtualization, to make its HQ a hot site for its remote data centers came from “Richard” via email: “Sorry, but when I saw the tag line on this article [‘A powder keg of BC and DR planning’] and the opening sentence, ‘blasting through,’ I thought it was April 1!” he wrote. “And later in the article, the reference to Symantec reminded me of Semtex, and made the article even more explosive! I just hope these folks don’t lose track of any of their explosives products in their quest for virtualization.”

I emailed Richard to share that my copyeditor and I had had similar chuckles. However, I should add how impressed I am by the IT vision at Austin Powder, a company that was founded in 1833 and has seen more general ledgers in various formats than most enterprises.

The best wisdom of the week came from another Richard — Dick Csaplar, of the Aberdeen Group in Boston. “A disaster plan ages very quickly,” he said; disaster recovery solutions are a constant effort: “You are never done. People in charge of doing this need to stay on top of it. The people who pay attention and update their disaster plans are among the best-of-class organizations.”

Companies of all sizes can benefit from this lesson, as demonstrated by another story source, Greg Schulz, author of The Green and Virtual Data Center, and founder of The Server and Storage I/O Group in Stillwater, Minn. His own BC/DR strategy involves three laptops: a small one he uses for travel, a bigger one in his office, and another one as a backup. He’s not into the “less laptop” trend, but is going toward a more robust laptop using virtualization to seamlessly move his workloads wherever he happens to be: on the road, on an airplane, in his office.

And Austin Powder Network Administrator Chris Benco described how shared storage, added to the company’s virtualized environment, enables him to do the same thing among the main site and two remote data centers. Now the company not only is protected, but also can proactively move workloads to avoid a storm in one area, perform maintenance in another, whatever.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Laura Smith, Features Writer.

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