Construction workers could spark a fire, cut a buried power line or break through a natural gas line. Any of these events could disrupt power or force nearby businesses out of their buildings. Stouffer noted that most businesses are underinsured for disaster recoveryÂsomething the cloud will certainly not help you withÂand even those with DR plans in place may forget to scrutinize the fine print.
What happens if you need to install new servers for an on-premises system? Will you be able to get the gear in a day or two? If not, can your business afford to be down for however long it takes? Many businesses will fail if they are offline for three or four days. Equipment providers offer quick-ship agreements that you have to sign up for ahead of time. Has your organization signed up for one? If not, does it have a third-party provider in mind that can deliver gear quickly?
Even if you are in the cloud and don't have to rebuild your own servers, have you thought through what a disaster really means?
"All the cloud provider does is keep the servers running," Stouffer sags. "It doesn't provide you with office space in an unaffected nearby town. It doesn't give you directions to that office. Most providers fail over from disk to disk. Do you want tape as part of the disaster recovery solution? Is your data being replicated to a different region? After [Hurricane] Katrina, we know how important that is."
In other words, the good news is that the cloud has made DR affordable for business of all sizes. The bad news is that cloud-based DR just scratches the surface, and many organizations, whether consciously or not, are doing little more than scratching the DR surface.
Jeff Vance is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who focuses on next-generation technology trends. Follow him on Twitter @ JWVance.
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