Fire, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornados and other disasters can cause immeasurable damage to an organization, its business and its customers. One of the reasons these events are sometimes described as ‘acts of God’ in insurance policies is that they can strike without any warning or advance notice.
So in this BlogBytes we ask the question: how should you fight against unknown threats to your data? And in particular, what happens when you delegate that responsibility to another third party, like a cloud provider (CSP), or a managed services provider (MSP). We will discuss how a disaster recovery plan that includes offline and offsite tape data storage can help put the business continuity pieces back together again.
A FIERY DISASTER
You may have read in the news about a major fire which recently broke out at a European cloud service provider. Investigators believe that the origins of the blaze lay with some faulty UPS devices. Thankfully no one was injured, but one of the data centers at the CSP’s location was completely destroyed while another was severely damaged, causing enormous disruption. Although the CSP was able to migrate some traffic and customer applications to other data centers in the region, numbers of clients reported loss of primary data, inability to access server resources and worse, the possible loss of their backup data also. This prevented them from implementing any kind of meaningful Disaster Recovery plan because having delegated everything to the CSP, they had assumed that this freed them of the responsibility to manage their server and storage operations in-house.
Disastrous events can cause a great deal of damage, expense and disruption to the continuity of the business and those that it serves. In the wake of the incident, many clients tweeted that they were concerned about their path to recovery because both their data and their backups had been hosted in the now destroyed data center. Multiple organizations were affected – local government websites, weather and meteorological services, online video game providers, news services and arts and cultural organizations to name but few. What is clear from the incident is that the unforeseen disaster affected companies and institutions of all shapes and sizes and across a complete spectrum of commercial and non-commercial activity. Sadly, when the unknown strikes, it does so indiscriminately.
DR PLAN MUST INCLUDE TAPE STORAGE
It is an unfortunate reality that organizations are vulnerable to an assortment of disaster laden business interruptions. In this situation it is suspected that a number of the affected organizations did not have a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place or were unable to activate it. Such plans should include a variety of tools and procedures that can help identify, mitigate or recover from a business disruption. As was seen in this incident a cloud data center went down and affected not only the host’s data and operations but many clients as well. The DR plan for organizations should include the ability to recover data from an offsite location that is not affected by a catastrophic event. And, in the case of malware, ransomware and other data sabotage scenarios, the data should be offline to prevent unwarranted access.
Above all, don’t assume that just because you have a Service Level Agreement that specifies certain obligations from your CSP or MSP, you should stop making contingency plans of your own. Bad things happen to good computers everywhere. Maintaining some kind of on-prem data recovery capabilities, even if it’s just the most recent backup of your most critical information, could make all the difference.
OFFLINE AND OFFSITE MEANS SAFE DATA RECOVERY
LTO tape technology is intrinsically offline. That is, when a data cartridge is removed from the tape drive an “air gap” exists between the data and the system helping to thwart unwanted access and cyber sabotage. In addition, tape cartridges can be easily transported to an offsite location, out of region, to protect the data from a primary site disaster or regional catastrophe. The offsite protected data can then be used to recover system operations.
In the cloud and on the ground, make LTO tape storage part of your disaster recovery plan to save costs, save data and save your company. Discover the value of tape.