What Happens Following a Disaster

Nothing man-made compares with a large-scale natural disaster. When an earthquake or extreme weather strikes, you can wave goodbye to your normal world in a heartbeat. Everything you know is turned on its head. As news spectators, we relate to the turmoil via media coverage. Whilst this provides some detail it’s not the same a first-hand experience. One thing that is not generally known to those who have not experienced a natural disaster in person, is that the communication methods we take for granted in everyday life can become inaccessible.

Japan Earthquake 2011

Following the earthquakes in Japan during 2011 and in most other recent natural disasters, social networks like as Facebook and Twitter become lifelines and crucial communication tools when mobile phone networks become overloaded. In Japan, for example, people flocked to an Apple store which had free Wi-Fi so they could make contact with loved ones. This provides us with a useful lesson about the risk of reliance on traditional telecommunications to carry out disaster recovery plans. The benefit of internet communications is that unlike mobile phone networks, the internet can be accessed via a number different providers.

New Zealand Earthquake 2011

During the Christchurch earthquake of 2011, the New Zealand military were called to help restore order and to set up a perimeter around the badly damaged Central Business District. There was a complete ban on unauthorised access for 6 months. This led to many companies being unable to access their computer systems either because of the physical cordon or because their staff were not available. This became a major threat to the long-term prospects of national businesses which did not have a remote back-up system in place and could, therefore, not access business critical systems and data.

The Limitation of Tape Backup

Many companies who only had a traditional tape-based disaster recovery strategy needed to retrieve their magnetic media from buildings that had been ‘red stickered’ to be able to recover their servers. A building that was ‘red stickered,’ meant you could not access the building without a very good reason or without an official escort, who were also overwhelmed. A few weeks after the earthquake, more than two-thirds of the buildings in the Central Business District were still red stickered.

Post-Disaster Performance

In post-disaster environments, businesses that out-perform their competition utilised a high availability solutions which provides real-time replication with minimal downtime. This means that their data can be recovered up to the moment of the disaster. This prevents those companies losing business critical data and enables recovery of IT services much more quickly than a traditional DR approach. In many cases IT systems can be recovered more quickly than the staff could be relocated.

Superior DR Strategy

A DR Strategy based on real-time replication to a remote system such as MIMIX HA means your business could survive, even an extensive local disaster. IT Service recovery times can usually be measured in minutes or hours, rather than days or week and data loss can be limited to seconds or minutes.

For more information about how MIMIX HA could improve your business’s DR solution, please feel free to contact Mynah Bird IT on 0330 321 0062 or [email protected]

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