Surviving Extreme Weather with Natural Disaster Data Recovery


One of the main causes of infrastructure-based data loss is natural disasters – more specifically, power outages. While many MSPs and SMBs aren't thinking about natural disasters, they're forgetting that system failure is universal. No longer is it just businesses on the coasts, sea lines, and open plains that need to worry about natural disasters. Extreme weather is becoming more powerful, more frequent, and a natural disaster data recovery plan must be a part of your overall business continuity plan.

Power Outages Can Be Disasters

Unexpected power outages occur nationwide and put business-critical data at risk. In fact, U.S. customers experience an average of nearly six hours of power interruptions each year – and that number is growing. For businesses, that equates to a significant amount of downtime and lost costs. Depending on the SMB, the cost of downtime ranges anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 per hour. Additionally, you risk losing customers, damaging your reputation, and data loss that could have fatal long-term business consequences.

Data loss often occurs when desktops and operating systems are shut down abruptly and incorrectly and without saving the data. When the lights go out suddenly, files can get lost or corrupted easily. Frequent power outages damage hard drives and negatively impact the device's lifespan. On the flip side, electrical surges can also damage equipment when the power is restored. Similarly, data center devices and servers risk the same deterioration and failure when suffering an unexpected power event. Off-site data storage and data centers have benefits, but one of the biggest hurdles is hardware maintenance.

Gauging Your Vertical Capacity for Widespread Disasters

Regardless of if you're managing a power outage or a catastrophic weather event, one thing you need to consider is your ability to ensure complete business continuity for all of your clients. Roddy Bergeron, CISO at Enterprise Data Concepts (EDC) located in South Central Louisiana, migrated out of their data center and into x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud (D2C) after asking himself, "If all of our clients were down for an extended period of time, could we spin them up in our data center?"

Unfortunately, the other BCDR solution that EDC used in their data center lacked the vertical capacity to spin up the number of clients who would need it in the event of a widespread disaster. Roddy estimates that the restore process could take up to a week, and that's too much downtime for his clients to tolerate. In a recent interview, Roddy said, "We would have to run a lot of hardware out to our data center, our Colo. It would be pretty hard, and by the time we got clients up and running, they may already have power. Not a lot of people can take a week of downtime, but with our other solution, we were really hamstrung on what we could do."

Hurricane Ida Challenges Natural Disaster Recovery

Less than six months after Roddy and EDC assessed their ability to recover from a natural disaster, Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana. More than 20 of their clients were without power and internet for at least four days, and five clients in particular needed access to essential business operations. Specifically, one client needed to complete payroll. Getting paid on time was particularly important given EDC's clients' potentially dire circumstances and how vital income was to surviving and rebuilding after the hurricane's devastation. Luckily, with their new hardware-free business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solution, EDC had their first client runbook running in the cloud within 30 minutes.

"Clients were happy. It's good to be able to get them up and running when they don't have power or internet. We can't help with that stuff or damage to the office, but at least we have a solution to keep their business running. Whereas before, with our other solution, we couldn't spin up five clients in our data center that quick. We'd have to run a lot of hardware to our data center. It could have taken a week." Roddy goes on to say, "I'm glad we moved because now I can tell clients, 'don't worry, we did an automated test restore yesterday, and your data was good.' Some clients have access to their Axcient portal so they can actually see the backups themselves and don't need us to confirm anything."

Provide Peace of Mind with Business Continuity

Regardless of where you and your clients live, MSPs need to incorporate natural disaster recovery into your incident response plan to ensure business continuity. In doing so, you not only determine how prepared you are to help clients recover, but you evaluate the capacity of your backup solution. Axcient's hardware-free BCDR, x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud, meets multiple business use cases while lowering total costs with advanced features that do what backups alone can't. See how your current solution compares with a free 14-day trial!

This guest blog is courtesy of Axcient. Read more Axcient guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of ChannelE2E’s sponsorship program.