Store. Protect. Deliver
Business Continuity

The Problem

The picture to the right was taken by the owner of Virtual~Sands from his bedroom window. Disaster and the unexpected happen.

One of the first things that come to mind with Disaster Recovery and Planning is a server crash and data loss. A more correct name is Business Continuity Planning (BCP) a much broader field that encompasses, but is not limited to technology. The problem is anything that can disrupt the continuation of business.
  • Natural Disasters
  • Fire
  • Sabotage or terrorism
  • Theft
  • Death, injury, or otherwise long term incapacitation of key personnel.
  • Discontinuity in utilities (power is the best example, but also phone, water, heat, etc.
  • Large scale illness or inclement weather keeping staff from working.

IT Brief-Case™

Part of BCP is to calculate the risk and the cost of particular events. The IT Brief-Case portion is fairly easy to calculate. Consider a transactional server going offline. This server handles $10,000 in sales a day. The simple calculation is the $10,000 in sales that you should consider lost as you won't make $20,000 on the day that it comes back on line. The harder consideration are the indirect costs:
  • Loss of credibility for the reliability of your business.
  • The failure of processing may have led a customer to look for another source and thus, perhaps a permanent loss of repeat business.
  • At some point the "empty" spot in order processing will trickle down leaving fulfillment idle.
This is a small example. Depending on the company, a potential loss of millions per day is possible. If data is actually lost, recreation may be impossible. The event, perhaps a natural disaster could disable a key (or the only) facility and inevitably bankrupt the business. The expense of BCP is often looked at as backup or insurance. Unfortunately, its value is never fully realized until disaster strikes.

Solved @ VSands

We always prefer preventive care over disaster recovery. Our goal with BCP is to balance cost with benefit. Proper analysis of events, their probabilities, and their costs. We can assist in a number of ways:
  • Information collection and storage.
  • Asset management
  • Disaster recovery team coordination.
  • Training
  • Documentation
  • Recovery rehearsals
The hope is to mitigate the damage of an event. Disaster is a part of business, it's a matter of when, how, and to what extent. More importantly, it's a matter of being prepared for it.