|By Justin Moore||
|June 21, 2014 03:00 PM EDT||
In 2013, the total cost of natural disasters reached $192 billion, according to recent research from Impact Forecasting, a division of reinsurance company Aon Benfield, who conducts these reports each year.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy topped 2013's most costly natural disaster. With damage estimated at over $60 billion, Sandy is the second most expensive hurricane on record in the United States. Countless businesses lost revenue while waiting for power to return, or floods to subside. But many others were prepared, thanks to the IT professionals who made sure they had the right technology in place to weather any storm. In the eye of the storm, there are a few positive stories that came out of this devastating disaster.
Spinning Up Systems in the Cloud to Avoid Downtime
As Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast the night of Oct. 29, a financial asset management business in Manhattan saw its servers going down as the floodwaters from New York Harbor rose. But its Connecticut-based IT service provider had prepared them for such an event, and spun up a virtual version of the business' entire infrastructure in the cloud. This gave the asset management firm's clients uninterrupted access to services, even through the eye of the storm.
In the storm's wake, another IT service provider in New Jersey did a cloud-based failover for one of its clients, an investment management company. Since the IT provider had technology in place to replicate the firm's data, applications and systems in the cloud, the business was able to continue without loss of productivity or revenue. These financial businesses were subject to industry regulations for the backup and recovery of client data, and had their reputation hanging in the balance. So the IT provider's quick work with the right technology proved to be a priceless lifeline.
In addition to the above examples, dozens of IT providers in Sandy's path used the latest technology to spin up virtual offices, restore corrupted files and recover damaged servers for their customers in many types of industries. Their heroism is not only in knowing what to do during an emergency, but preparing well in advance with technology that delivers real business protection when needed.
Not All Backup Is Created Equal
Sadly, not all businesses had the right systems in place to protect and restore their information and systems during Sandy's onslaught. More than 57 percent of businesses in North America still rely on tape backup, which is costly, highly prone to error and calls for cumbersome manual intervention. Tape-reliant businesses on the East Coast will likely spend weeks piecing together their data and getting their IT systems fully back online. Some may never recover.
As illustrated by the businesses that were well prepared for Sandy, those with the right technology in place have no reason to fear.
Here are some disaster preparedness tips for businesses to follow and use as a checklist to ensure they are prepared the next time a natural disaster strikes:
1. Take Care of Employees
- Have a basic emergency supply kit ready.
- Make sure everyone knows your evacuation procedures.
- Plan where to meet and whom to contact after an evacuation.
2. Identify Assets Most Critical to your Business
- Which data do your customers need the most?
- Which systems and applications are essential to your day-to-day operations?
- How long can your business wait while you recover from a failure or disaster?
3. Determine what your Business is Most at Risk For
- Understand what an hour or day of IT interruption and application downtime could cost your business and what could cause downtime.
- Know the elevation of your office to decide whether you're at risk of flooding.
- Conduct an earthquake and fire safety evaluation.
4. Evaluate the Solution(s) you Have in Place
- Can you virtualize your entire IT infrastructure off-site?
- Can your disaster recovery solution be centrally managed?
- Do you have a dependable solution that automatically backs up your most recent files?
5. Evaluate your Solution Provider
- Do they offer a single, simple solution to protect your business information and eliminate IT downtime?
- Do they have a disaster preparedness plan of their own so that they can help you during a disaster?
- Is their solution built on reliable hardware and software? Are they dependent on other vendors?
6. Write a Recovery Plan
- Clearly define and document the steps needed to recover your network and ensure employee safety.
- Post recovery steps around the office for employees to see.
7. Regularly Test your Recovery Plan
- Review your plan documentation on a quarterly basis with department heads.
- Make sure department heads review disaster recovery procedures with their teams. Conduct live tests at least twice per quarter.
8. Stay Informed and Communicate with Others
- Stay current on weather forecasts in your area.
- Make sure all other businesses in your network also have a disaster preparedness plan.
- Decide how you will communicate with partners and customers, and listen to local authorities for updates.
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applicatio...
Feb. 28, 2015 05:00 PM EST Reads: 1,334
VictorOps is making on-call suck less with the only collaborative alert management platform on the market. With easy on-call scheduling management, a real-time incident timeline that gives you contextual relevance around your alerts and powerful reporting features that make post-mortems more effective, VictorOps helps your IT/DevOps team solve problems faster.
Feb. 28, 2015 05:00 PM EST Reads: 1,149
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, will discuss why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices ra...
Feb. 28, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,374
Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been ...
Feb. 28, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,086
Companies today struggle to manage the types and volume of data their customers and employees generate and use every day. With billions of requests daily, operational consistency can be elusive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Dave McCrory, CTO at Basho Technologies, will explore how a distributed systems solution, such as NoSQL, can give organizations the consistency and availability necessary to succeed with on-demand data, offering high availability at massive scale.
Feb. 28, 2015 03:45 PM EST Reads: 2,201
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, de...
Feb. 28, 2015 03:30 PM EST Reads: 3,977
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focu...
Feb. 28, 2015 03:15 PM EST Reads: 1,241
Security can create serious friction for DevOps processes. We've come up with an approach to alleviate the friction and provide security value to DevOps teams. In her session at DevOps Summit, Shannon Lietz, Senior Manager of DevSecOps at Intuit, will discuss how DevSecOps got started and how it has evolved. Shannon Lietz has over two decades of experience pursuing next generation security solutions. She is currently the DevSecOps Leader for Intuit where she is responsible for setting and driv...
Feb. 28, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 2,161
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing...
Feb. 28, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,209
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes ...
Feb. 28, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 1,142
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, it is now feasible to create a rich desktop and tuned mobile experience with a single codebase, without compromising performance or usability.
Feb. 28, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 1,025
Thanks to Docker, it becomes very easy to leverage containers to build, ship, and run any Linux application on any kind of infrastructure. Docker is particularly helpful for microservice architectures because their successful implementation relies on a fast, efficient deployment mechanism – which is precisely one of the features of Docker. Microservice architectures are therefore becoming more popular, and are increasingly seen as an interesting option even for smaller projects, instead of bein...
Feb. 28, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 2,391
SYS-CON Events announced today Arista Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Arista Networks was founded to deliver software-driven cloud networking solutions for large data center and computing environments. Arista’s award-winning 10/40/100GbE switches redefine scalability, robustness, and price-performance, with over 3,000 customers and more than three million cloud networking ports depl...
Feb. 28, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,491
Application metrics, logs, and business KPIs are a goldmine. It’s easy to get started with the ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana) – you can see lots of people coming up with impressive dashboards, in less than a day, with no previous experience. Going from proof-of-concept to production tends to be a bit more difficult, unfortunately, and it tends to gobble up our attention, time, and money. In his session at DevOps Summit, Otis Gospodnetić, co-author of Lucene in Action and founder...
Feb. 28, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,260
The speed of software changes in growing and large scale rapid-paced DevOps environments presents a challenge for continuous testing. Many organizations struggle to get this right. Practices that work for small scale continuous testing may not be sufficient as the requirements grow. In his session at DevOps Summit, Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect of DevOps continuous test solutions at Spirent Communications, will explain the best practices of continuous testing at high scale, which is r...
Feb. 28, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,096