DCN April 2016 - Page 37

service continuity became possible engineers were able to deploy the generators and other disaster recovery equipment. While Vodafone claims that its data centres weren’t hit by the flooding, data centres around the world can be severely hit by flooding and other natural disasters. In fact a recent survey by Zenium Technology has found that half of the world’s data centres have been disrupted by them. They are both disruptive and costly. Hurricane Sandy is case in point. Hurricane Sandy In October 2012 Data Center Knowledge reported that at least two data centres located in New York were damaged by flooding. Rich Miller’s article for the IT magazine, ‘Massive Flooding Damages Several NYC Data Centers’ said: ‘Flooding from Hurricane Sandy has hobbled two data centre buildings in Lower Manhattan, taking out diesel fuel pumps used to refuel generators, and a third building at 121 Varick is also reported to be without power…’ Outages were also reported by many data centre tenants at a major data hub at 111 8th Avenue. Overcoming limitations One of Bridgeworks’ large insurance customers wanted replication for disaster recovery purposes between two of their sites, but the latency killed performance and so they still had to use a man in the van to ensure the data was at both sites, thus allowing them to meet their required recovery time objectives (RTO). They had invested in dark fibre to improve performance of the data transfer, but their replication continued to fail and thus their stated RTO was not met without resorting to the man in the van. With WANrockIT installed on both sides, returning to their cheaper 10Gb pipes not only did the customer achieve their replication targets, they were able to achieve simultaneous cross-site replication. Thus the CIO was able to not only meet the Service Level Agreement required of him but indeed dramatically reduce the Recovery Point Objective and therefore the risk to his business in the event of a disaster. it’s important to take a step back to consider how to maintain business continuity whenever a natural or man made disaster occurs. Top IT service continuity tips Yet a number of customers were affected as they experienced intermittent issues with Vodafone’s voice and data services in the North East of England, and the company experienced some power disruption. The flooding restricted access to the building, which was needed in order to install generators after the back up batteries had run down. Once access With data centre downtime potentially costing millions or billions of pounds it’s important to take a step back to consider how to maintain business continuity whenever a natural or man made disaster occurs. The problem is that most companies leave it too late, much like people do with insurance policies. As a result, whenever disaster strikes it’s too late. For this reason it’s worth noting the following tips: P  repare not just for disaster but for IT service and business continuity by ensuring that you have a plan in place that is regularly reviewed, tested and audited. Customers shouldn’t be affected, and they shouldn’t know that an issue has arisen. If one data centre is affected, then there should be another data centre at the ready to maintain seamless service continuity. 37