Monday, July 11, 2011

Redundant Redundant Connectivity Connectivity

By John Overton

Is one of your competitive advantages the ability to stay in business when others are put out of business by a disaster? We serve several such businesses. Through either hard knocks or pure business savvy, they understand the importance of 1) best-of-breed primary systems, and 2) as many backup systems as they can conceive and afford.

As with any insurance policy, calculating a ROI is hard until you actually need it. I just renewed my flood insurance. In the 11 years that I've been in this house, have I ever flooded? Nope. I recently visited Nashville, TN and got a somber reminder that just because you're in a 100 year flood plain doesn't mean it won't happen in your life time. More than a year after a devastating flood in this beautiful country music paradise, numerous retails areas, businesses and homes are still down and out (granted, some of it is due to insurance settlement disputes!)

Don't let that point slip past you--many of these businesses had flood insurance. They should have been good to go, right? Nope. They discovered that their backup plan was inadequate.

Similar scenario with one of our clients who has a very robust IT infrastructure, massive batteries, awesome gas generator, and bad-to-the-bone redundant connectivity system via a mobile satellite internet system.

But what happens when somewhere in the outer edges of our atmosphere something goes wrong with that satellite? It's not the client's fault, not the installers fault, not the manufacturer's fault, . . . ultimately whose fault it is--that's irrelevant. And it is small consolation when your backup plan is kapoot, that thousands of other businesses across the continent are affected by that same bird in the sky.

Motosat Satellite Internet we installed on a Barge! (Nope, even this isn't foolproof!)
No matter how great everything is going with your primary systems, knowing that your backup plan is shot makes you feel vulnerable. This is where "redundant redundant connectivity connectivity" comes in to play. Beyond the technology tools, your systems and processes is your team. Are you connected to the people who understand your business needs? The right team is not only essential to putting together an effective disaster plan, but also is the most important part OF your disaster plan. Technology will fail. Systems will fail. Processes will fail. And when they do--like this mobile satellite internet system--your peace of mind comes from knowing you did the best you could, but if that doesn't cut it you're connected to the right team with the right resources (and desire) to get you back in business.

Here's the Motosat TCC Satellite trailer we deployed for a client.
As bad to the bone as this is, even it goes down sometimes.

I wish I could control the satellite technology. I can't. But I am connected to people who can get this system working on another bird. That's my commitment to this client. We've had clients with servers that went up in smoke, and the backup that they tested a week ago got corrupted somehow. We've had clients on "the Cloud" who have had Amazon and Sprint-level crashes.

It's when Plan A and B are toast that your Connections (we'll Creatively Call it "Plan C") make all the difference. We've rebuilt corrupt data, provided loaner servers (that a story for another post), and restored data from a 3rd or 4th backup of mission-critical systems--whatever it takes. The right Plan C team can turn a road block into just a pot hole. Now is the time to make connections to your Plan C team--your redundant redundant connectivity connectivity.

Call us today to get your plans in place!

John Overton

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