“Please help, save me! Do something!” These are simple messages that people convey when they experience a natural disaster like the 2011 Japanese Tohoku Earthquake and consequent Tsunami. Natural disasters like floods, tsunami, tornadoes, hurricanes or man-made (or technological) hazards are difficult to predict and to fully prepare for. These disastrous events can occur anytime, anywhere.
A natural disaster or man-made disaster of intense magnitude can disrupt power supply, destroy hardware infrastructure, or limit connectivity and can cause entire business establishments to tumble down. For a country like Japan, which is among the world’s most technologically advanced nations, the impacts of outages in data centers can be catastrophic. This scenario was a testimony for the growing need for effective cloud disaster prevention and backup strategies in order to combat such catastrophic events. Most Japanese enterprises have adopted the latest cloud-based data management and business models and when tragedy struck, it delivered a key blow to all their business processes, rendering millions using their services stuck in the uncertainty without any means to carry out their activities.
Disasters are inevitable, but the question is: Are you prepared? According to a study by Gartner, 80 percent of all companies that experience a major disaster will go out of business if they cannot gain access to their data within 24 hours. As far as cloud computing is concerned, there are several key aspects to make note of while the initial infrastructure for such business model is planned and implemented. As with any issue, prevention is better than cure and wiser methods to prevent data loss or information damage is a much safer way to combat outages in cloud services rather than having to assemble every piece of information from scratch after the disaster has occurred.
During the great tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, one of the biggest mistakes made by Japanese businesses was that their data centers and cloud infrastructure was all set up at seismically sensitive and disaster prone geographical locations. If this infrastructure was set up at a location that is usually immune to natural disasters, then the chances of service disruptions due to disasters would have been minimized.
Identify the disaster recovery plan:
Having an effective disaster recovery procedure is a key factor in this context. For countries like Japan, which often lie in the war path of nature’s forces, it is wise for businesses to have an effective disaster recovery procedure prepared and documented as soon as they shift to modern age business models such as cloud computing-based operations.
Decisions should be made as to who will head the recovery team, how many members should be present in the recovery team, what kind of software and hardware tools are required for recovery, the costs involved in the entire recovery procedure, estimation of time required for every individual recovery module as well as the total time for the entire recovery procedure, criticality and priority of tasks should be documented so that higher priority tasks with high criticality can resume their services before lower priority tasks as well as tasks depended on these high priority tasks. These procedures may seem easy to read, but require months of effort and teamwork to formulate an effective Recovery Decision strategy.
Decisions should be made as to who will head the recovery team, how many members should be present in the recovery team, what kind of software and hardware tools are required for recovery, the costs involved in the entire recovery procedure, estimation of time required for every individual recovery module as well as the total time for the entire recovery procedure, criticality and priority of tasks should be documented so that higher priority tasks with high criticality can resume their services before lower priority tasks as well as tasks depended on these high priority tasks. These procedures may seem easy to read, but require months of effort and teamwork to formulate an effective Recovery Decision strategy.Periodic drills carried out for disaster recovery procedures would be a very intuitive option as the recovery team will then be well prepared and know exactly what to do in the event of a catastrophe without having to wait for instructions and vital information at a time when speed of operation is more important than anything else. Working on live scenarios of recovery would provide enough expertise for recovery staff to deal with once a catastrophe occurs.
A major factor to note is that, recovery of cloud-based business models is one of the most critical tasks as far as a modern business enterprise is concerned. No data should be lost or damaged and the procedures should be completed as fast as possible because every second of service disruption can prove to be fatal for the businesses future. As such, technical staff with proper expertise should be deployed and enterprises should not take chances with any aspect of recovery.
So, enterprises in a modern country like Japan should always be on the alert when it comes to natural disasters and they should put in every effort to ensure that their services should not be disrupted and if disrupted, they should be restored without any loss of information as soon as possible.
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About the Guest Author:
Mandira Srivastava is a fulltime freelance writer who specializes in technology, health and fitness, politics, and financial writing. Equipped with degree of mass communication and having worked for both private and corporate clients, I have experience meeting a wide range of writing requirements and styles.