Thursday, April 23, 2009

D/R Planning in the Clouds

What is your D/R plan when part of your business critical data is in the cloud and the fiber lines are cut?

How do you make a smooth landing and keep your critical business data running if you don't have access to your cloud resources? How do you make a D/R plan for data assets which are physically not in your hands?

Here is an article that is worth reading completely...

"Just after midnight on Thursday, April 9, unidentified attackers climbed down four manholes serving the Northern California city of Morgan Hill and cut eight fiber cables in what appears to have been an organized attack on the electronic infrastructure of an American city. Its implications, though startling, have gone almost un-reported.

That attack demonstrated a severe fault in American infrastructure: its centralization. The city of Morgan Hill and parts of three counties lost 911 service, cellular mobile telephone communications, land-line telephone, DSL internet and private networks, central station fire and burglar alarms, ATMs, credit card terminals, and monitoring of critical utilities. In addition, resources that should not have failed, like the local hospital's internal computer network, proved to be dependent on external resources, leaving the hospital with a "paper system" for the day.

Commerce was disrupted in a 100-mile swath around the community, from San Jose to Gilroy and Monterey. Cash was king for the day as ATMs and credit card systems were down, and many found they didn't have sufficient cash on hand. Services employees dependent on communication were sent home. The many businesses providing just-in-time operations to agriculture could not communicate."

Imagine if your business critical data was housed in a data center that was no longer accessible, not just for a couple of hours, but for a significant amount of time. How would you make a D/R plan to recover the data that was housed remotely? How much time and effort will it take to build new servers and storage and migrate the data to another location. These are the types of questions I will bring up as a panelist during tomorrow' s Cloudslam 09 virtual conference at 2PM.

The last lines of the article make a good point, how will enterprises recover their data assets if there is a wholesale migration to the "Cloud providers" for housing critical business data, but there is no connectivity?

"Will there be another Morgan Hill? Definitely. And the next time it might happen to a denser community that won't be so astonishingly able to sustain the trouble using its two-way radios and hams. The next time, it might be connected with some other event, be it crime or terrorism. Company and government officers take notice: the only way you'll fare well is if you start planning now."



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