Water, Water Everywhere, but not an Internet Link

OR Minimising the Hassle and Risks of IT even in the Most Challenging of Circumstances

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) face many of the same challenges of their larger counterparts, but have fewer resources to use to meet them. In particular IT has always been a challenge and SMBs have typically had very limited IT skills.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Learn about how an #MSP can help you in the event of a disaster such as #Flooding with @Veberhost”]

This is where an MSP (Managed Services Provider) comes in. Under normal circumstance the MSP serves to take the hassles out of IT and to provide the support and specialist skills to help the SMB move to the cloud, operate in the cloud and keep everything operational and secure.

And it’s not just about on-going operations and security. Smaller firms on average tend to move offices more often as they seek a better rental deal, better location or simply expand or downsize. The lift and shift of their IT operations can be minimised by hosting their apps in the cloud.

Life starts to get more interesting when things go wrong though. And with weather events like flooding becoming more frequent and more severe, we have to consider the options.

If your offices flood then the chances are that any equipment sited there is going to be taken out completely, even if not directly then almost certainly by lack of power or physical access. Firms that plan for this eventuality don’t always think through the potential impact.

You may have an emergency power backup, but have you considered your cooling system?

One firm in Italy had a small data centre that had local generators to power their servers as well as their cooling systems (cooling can be a big issue in the Italian summer). When a flash flood hit the area, they were located away from the flood plain and even when the power company went down their local generator kicked in. Unfortunately the local water company was also hit and it didn’t have back-up generators. While the data centre had enough power to run the server and the cooling, when the water ran out everything started to melt down. With a cloud-based service mirrored across multiple sites and managed by a local MSP to meet their specific needs, the firm would have been ok.

Another firm in New York with its main offices in Manhattan had access to an emergency facility in New Jersey in the event that their offices were ever out of action. It had desks and terminals that were ready to use and servers that could be ready to run their applications on site at short notice. When a major snow storm hit, none of the staff could reach Manhattan so the contingency plan was enacted and staff all received a message to head for the alternative site in New Jersey. But the roads were blocked everywhere and none of the staff could get there either. With a cloud-based service mirrored across multiple sites and managed by a local MSP to meet their specific needs, staff could have accessed all the firm’s apps from home and the firm would have been ok.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Hoping that disaster won’t happen to you simply isn’t a realistic strategy” user=”veberhost” hashtags=”MSP, DR”]

Indeed many people imagine that remote cloud-based services would be hard to reach in a crisis, but as these examples show, in most scenarios there is some way of getting access these days. If you can’t get broadband or mobile where you are, you can normally move to where you can. The problem is if the servers you’re trying to connect to have melted down or cannot be reached as they are on local servers or in an inaccessible location then you are stuck. Having your apps in the cloud where they can be mirrored across multiple internationally diverse locations means that you can reach your apps and data and keep the business running even in the most challenging of circumstances.

Closer to home we have seen flood events in all parts of the UK. I can’t help but be touched by the impact to people’s lives but my thoughts always then turn to hoping that local businesses have taken the time to prepare for disaster recovery. Hoping that it won’t happen to you simply isn’t a realistic strategy. Getting a local MSP that can set things up to meet your specific needs during the good times and still keep things running when it gets bad, is essential.

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