Hurricane Harvey caused wide-spread destruction across Texas at levels that have not been seen before. So much has been written and will continue to be written about the impact of Harvey on our communities. I'd like to share what we learned from an IT perspective. Most of us are either employees, managers, or owners of small and medium size businesses and are responsible and impacted by loss of use and loss of data caused by natural disasters, such as Harvey.
Thankfully, most all of our clients' heeded our earlier suggestions about how to prepare for a hurricane. They had us back up their data, raised their equipment up from the floors and disconnected power. Some even asked us to verify their cloud backups. These are all excellent ways to protect your company data. But I'd like to ask you to think beyond protection. Think about business continuity. Think about accessibility to your programs and data during and after disasters. Because post disaster, yes you'll have your backed up data, but how will you access it if your office, network, and servers have been damaged or are temporarily down. Where will you load your data and how will you make it functional? This is where the Cloud comes in.
First, what is the 'Cloud'? The Cloud is simply a collection of high powered servers located in a data center which is typically inside a strategically located hardened building with restricted access, backup power generators and multiple hi-speed Internet connections. Each customers' servers at the data center are logically (and often times physically) separated from others, with their own set of credentials, thereby isolating them from problems other servers in the data center may experience.
By adding Cloud to your IT infrastructure, you can be prepared for the next time a disaster takes place. I can tell you that during Harvey, a lot of managers and owners of businesses were very worried. During those 6 days of intense rain, I bet a lot of us were thinking, is my office getting flooded? Is my server going to be ok when I get to my office next week? Will my phone lines work so my customers/patients can reach me?
If your critical IT systems are in the Cloud, you wouldn't have to worry about it at all; at least not from an IT perspective. Here are some of the systems you can have in the Cloud:
I can tell you from personal experience, that having all of our applications and data in the Cloud was a huge relief during hurricane Harvey. We were operational and answering calls from Day 1, during Harvey's peak, even though we were not able to physically reach our office. If you have any questions about whether the Cloud is an effective solution for your business, just send us an inquiry and we'll be happy to take a look, and make recommendations.