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Does Climate Change Make Disaster Recovery More Important?

Richard Bailey
by Atlantic.Net (90 posts) under Disaster Recovery
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The impact of climate change is being felt globally. Our summers appear to be getting hotter, our winters are volatile, and all the weather in between is getting more extreme. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) predicts that as global temperatures continue to rise, the likelihood of increased drought and intense storms will continue to grow.

Warmer oceans fuel higher wind speeds, increasing the likelihood of tropical storms and hurricanes. In addition, rising sea levels increase the danger of storm surges and extreme weather, threatening to damage the infrastructure that impacts our daily lives. With this increased risk to IT infrastructure, join us as we look at how climate change influences business decision-making surrounding the importance of disaster recovery and business continuity.

How Does Climate Change Affect IT Services?

One of the biggest threats to business continuity is an unexpected event that wipes out core IT infrastructure. Any structural impact to data centers or the destruction of provider services such as electricity, cooling, gas, water, or even O2 can result in widespread system outages.

Such unexpected events are called ‘an act of God,’ which means an event out of your control. This includes events like lightning strikes, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, sandstorms, sinkholes, and even the outbreak of war like we are seeing in Ukraine. The likelihood of these events happening is slim, but it is not impossible. Therefore to protect business continuity, it’s prudent to prepare for every eventuality.

The unique problem of climate change is that the likelihood of a natural disaster occurring is increasing, thus creating a particular concern for business strategists.

Why Is Disaster Recovery Important During These Uncertain Times?

The unpredictability of climate change makes it challenging to decide when to invest in DR. Disaster Recovery services are provided by cloud hosting businesses like Atlantic.Net; DR provides businesses with the technical capabilities to fail over critical business applications and core infrastructure services to an alternative location.

The service will consist of a tried and tested backup strategy that protects critical servers with a regular backup. In addition, the backup provides a guaranteed restore point. Databases should be replicated synchronous or asynchronously to an alternative location, and the same should be done with domain controllers. All critical storage should be replicated at the hardware layer to the alternative site.

There are multiple ways to fail over servers; each method varies between the cloud providers. One of the most popular ways is to have a DR application that integrates with the cloud platform hypervisor. It will migrate the virtual instances between sites A and B. Storage snapshots at site B can be used to start the instance almost immediately. Storage is so fast these days that data loss is infrequent, with the worst-case scenario typically still meeting your required RPO objectives.

When a professional service provider implements DR, the impact on the end user is minimal. Most users will not realize services have failed, and problems are usually short-lived. However, if the customer doesn’t invest in DR, the enterprise is at risk of an extended outage period.

Can a Disaster Impact My Business?

Some readers may wonder how likely it is that a disaster may occur. Some may assume that a disaster won’t impact them. However, each company has individual business continuity requirements. Where would your employees work if the offices were destroyed?

The biggest disaster I have witnessed in the last 20 years was the complete outage of one of the biggest data centers in London. First, we were told it was a lightning strike, and later the truth came out it was a facilities problem in the breaker room. As a result, the massive global online fashion retailer I was working for at the time went offline for two days, but they had no DR strategy! The outage cost the company tens of millions in lost revenue and angered a lot of loyal customers.

More recently, Google lost an entire availability zone in London, Europe-west2-a. On the 2nd of August 2022, Google apologized for the extended downtime and unexpected impact on cloud services in Europe-west2-a. Any customer who did not have disaster recovery services configured across the entire availability zone experienced extensive downtime.

In June 2022, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 (Office) experienced a 12-hour outage for all customers hosted via Microsoft’s Virginia Datacenter. Any customer that did not have  ‘always-available’ enabled or have zone-redundant services were impacted. Virginia hosts US-EAST1 and US-EAST2 availability zones and is a prevalent region with Azure customers.

Disaster Recovery and Regulatory Compliance

In many businesses, it is critical to ensure that Disaster Recovery services are available to protect businesses bound by legislation. For example, HIPAA compliance demands that healthcare organizations can restore PHI data in the event of complete failure. Therefore, a disaster recovery solution is recommended, and a robust and reliable data backup plan is essential. Additionally, restoring PHI from a disk or tape in an unaltered state must be possible if all else fails.

What Disaster Recovery Service Can Atlantic.Net Provide?

How do you look after your backups? Does your hosting partner offer disaster recovery-as-a-service? Have you developed your disaster recovery plan? If the answer to these questions is “no,” Atlantic.Net is here to help. We are a leading cloud services provider and have been providing cutting-edge hosting services for over 25 years.

Our proven experience, full suite of managed services, and always-available professional support team deliver confidence in our DR solutions. Our 100% uptime guarantee protects all Atlantic.Net services. We will build the perfect solution for your business or organization, embedded with disaster recovery capabilities such as high availability, managed backup, and disaster-recovery-as-a-service.

Ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities is essential to modern business. However, with the growing risk from global warming and climate change, now is the time to rethink your business continuity strategy to ensure it fits your business.

Atlantic.Net data centers and hosting services are certified with SOC 2 and SOC 3, HIPAA, and HITECH accreditation, with 24x7x365 support, monitoring, and world-class data center infrastructure. For faster application deployment, free IT architecture design, and assessment, visit us at www.atlantic.net, call 888-618-DATA (3282), or email us at [email protected].

You can find out more information by contacting our sales team today!

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