Posts Tagged "business continuity"

A business continuity plan ensures business critical resource availability and systems necessary for organization survival and success. Fault tolerance, high availability and redundancy are system attributes essential to a successful business continuity plan. Understand the fault tolerance, redundancy, and high availability types required by the organization, defined by your business continuity plan, and supported by each system before procurement and deployment.

Fault tolerance refers to systems, software or networks designed to resist failure when an adverse event such as network connection outage or hard drive failure occurs. Fault tolerance is an asset attribute or property highly desirable for disaster recovery and business continuity planning. For example, storage systems configured with JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) volumes will likely lose all data when a single drive in the array fails. However, storage systems configured in a RAID 6 array rather than a JBOD volume possess a fault tolerant feature (property) that enables them to lose up to two disks without losing either the entire disk array or any data.

The purpose behind fault tolerant features is “high-availability”. High-availability refers to the descriptive measurement of system up-time in relation to the service provided. For example, a single web server provides little in the way of fault tolerance if it were to fail and go offline due to a power outage or DoS attack. However, a group of three web servers configured as a cluster and each powered from a different power grid and running RAID 6 storage arrays provide a high degree of fault tolerance as a system. Each web server is susceptible to power outage, however the system as a whole is still capable of serving HTTP requests should one or two of the web servers fail due to power outage. To the user accessing the web pages the system would be considered “highly available” because it appears as if the web pages are always online. To the web server administrator the system would be “highly fault tolerant” because it is capable of handling up to two separate power outages (able to tolerate a large number of faults) in two separate grids while still remaining available.

Redundancy describes a type of fault tolerance that helps deliver high-availability. Redundancy applies to both disaster recovery and business continuity planning because the redundancy countermeasures mitigate risk identified during business continuity planning if both applicable to the system and justifiable through cost analysis. Redundancy is a disaster recovery component because it’s used to make a system more fault tolerant (a property of a system), delivering high-availability (the goal of both fault tolerance and a business continuity plan) by providing a recovery path in the form of standby, clustered (such as mentioned earlier) or other fail-over technique that ensures recovery when an incident occurs.

Contact us for more information about how fault tolerant, highly available, and redundant systems can ensure the business continuity of your organization.

Modern businesses run on data. Whether it’s something as simple as a customer mailing list and invoice records or a complex global enterprise, data is what keeps the lights on and the bills paid.

What is a Disaster?

It depends on who you ask. In 2011, the Joplin tornado destroyed the St. John’s Regional Medical Center. As a result, they’d probably give you a different definition than 21st Century Oncology after they revealed a data breach had released information on as many as 2.2 million patients. Two different medical providers lost countless records. In one case the confidential information literally ended up in trees. In the other, it ended up on the laptop of a malicious criminal. Both qualify as disasters.

What is a Disaster Plan?

A good disaster recovery plan looks at both internal and external threats. External threats include everything from a physical loss of the facility to fire or natural disaster to the loss of data from a breach of your computer systems. When you look at internal threats, you have to assess your exposure to things as mundane as an employee downloading a virus into your system to employee theft and industrial espionage.

The best disaster plans include people from all of your departments who can all throw in “what if” scenarios. Then applying principles of risk management, the threats are ranked on the basis of least probable to most probable and least damaging to most damaging.

Business Continuity and Disaster Planning:

Once your company has determined its threats, your team can work on business continuity plans. In today’s world, a key part of this plan is IT recovery. Not only must your data be recovered and secured, it must be accessible if your business is forced to move to another location after a fire or natural disaster.

One of the fastest ways to get up and running again is to use a secure cloud computing solution. Not only is your information secure, but it is also easily accessible. No more waiting for the retrieval and reinstallation of backup files. With a cloud solution, your employees can pop open a laptop and be back to work.

In a natural disaster, this is key if your business is part of the recovery framework, such as medical services, building supplies, or construction. In an internal disaster, such as a hack or physical compromise of your computers, a cloud-based system has your data protected behind another layer of security while still being easily accessed.

Regardless of your size or business, contact us at WHOA.com for a consultation on the IT recovery portion of your business continuity plan. We can craft a solution that works for your business and your budget.

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