How IT leaders can best plan for disaster

By Thor Olavsrud, CIO |  IT Management, Hurricane Sandy

  • Maintain your surge protectors and UPS units. Don't let simple things trip you up when it comes to keeping your computers and servers powered. Routinely test and maintain the UPS surge protectors for all your computers and server banks. Replace the UPS units for desktops every two years and for servers every three to five years.
  • Back up your data and store copies off-site. At the very least, store tape backups in a protected, remote location. Better yet, co-locate as well. And don't simply expect your backups to work. Test your backups regularly. runs tests on small files every week to ensure the integrity of the backup files. Twice a month, it runs a complete restore of all backup data.
  • Maintain off-site, disaster-proof data centers. Keep your Web servers in various locations to ensure your business's connection to the outside world remains uninterrupted. house some servers in a server room at its headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, but it has also strategically divided Web servers among several additional data centers in Connecticut, Texas and Florida. It maintains a cage with the data center in Boca Raton, which houses critical servers, the company's phone system, domain controller, SQL databases and application and file servers.
  • Add backup customer support options. You have to be able to maintain contact with your customers. In addition to its main phone system and backup analog lines, subscribes to a disaster recovery plan with GlobalResponse, a Margate, Fla.-based firm whose building is equipped to face a disaster, and which is connected to AT&T through an OC-12 Sonnet SMARTring. also maintains a backup customer support group with GlobalResponse that can take phone calls on its behalf.

Thor Olavsrud covers IT Security, Big Data, Open Source, Microsoft Tools and Servers for Follow Thor on Twitter @ThorOlavsrud. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Thor at

Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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