Well, It Happened Again!

Try as we might, some clients still believe their computer equipment will never fail and they will never lose any of their data.  But, unfortunately all mechanical devices eventually fail.  Traditional disk drives spin at 7,500 – 15,000 rpm with their read/write heads literally “flying” less than a millimeter above the disk surfaces.  If a head touches the surface or a motor or head actuator fails, the drive and all the data are toast.  It may be possible to retrieve data from a failed drive, but it’s not easy, it takes time, and it’s relatively expensive.

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Can Your Business Survive a Disaster?

We heard it this past week: "Nothing will happen to my business!"  "The weather here is not that bad!"  "All my company's important information is in my head!"  
 
Our community was just incredibly fortunate.  We escaped Hurricane "Sandy"!  Nothing much happened here.  However, just a hundred miles to our southeast, people and businesses were not so lucky.  People lost their lives. Billions of dollars of business and infrastructure have been damaged and destroyed.  It will take weeks, months, and in some cases years to assess all the damage and to rebuild.  
 
The reality is that too many of our clients are not prepared to deal with a hurricane, fire, flood, or blizzard; all of which have happened right here in Central New York in the very recent past.  A few businesses have failed because of those disasters. On the one hand, we don't want people to go around being scared, but without any planning or forethought, you are just rolling the dice.

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Possible High Winds and Heavy Rain for Mon & Tues

We might be seeing some high winds and heavy rains in the Ithaca and Central New York area from Monday late afternoon through Tuesday mid-day.  Although most eyes are looking toward our southeast for the worst of "Sandy", our area could be affected as well.  So what to do about your technology:

First and always:  Make sure you, your family, and your co-workers are safe and prepared. Know where community shelters are. If your organization has a DRP or BCP, make sure all the pieces are in place and ready to go.  If you don't know these initials, now is not the time to learn them.

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The tyranny of five 9s

I was at a conference recently where one of the speakers was talking about their services uptime during the past year.  99.998% uptime flashed on the screen to the applause of the mostly technical multitude!  Some quick math told me that this system had experience only 10.512 minutes of unscheduled downtime during the previous 525,600 minutes (remember the song from “Rent”)! Very impressive numbers!  However, it got me thinking about overall computer system reliability, how we put our faith in numbers and sort of arbitrarily create standards which are difficult and expensive to maintain.

 Years ago, when competition was coming to our country’s landline telephone network , the “Bell” companies and AT&T touted that no other company or system could get close to their “Five 9s” in reliability. Again, doing the math, that’s only 5.256 minutes of unscheduled network downtime annually.   “Ma Bell” was right.  The landline networks (both voice and data) are “only” 99.995% reliable (averaging several government and industry surveys).  So the average landline voice or data network can expect to have 26.28 minutes of unscheduled downtime annually.  

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A business continuity plan - Reduce your worry

 used with permission from HP Technology at Work

When a business’s data is compromised, it’s just a matter of time before things begin to fall apart. As a result, the importance of having a business continuity plan in place is never clearer than during times like those. Sometimes known as a disaster recovery plan, a business continuity plan not only prepares your business for how to protect its data, but also how to prepare itself in the event of a catastrophic power failure or natural disaster. 

As far as protecting your business is concerned, a business continuity plan is also the least expensive option for small companies because it costs virtually nothing to produce. Utilizing tools such as HP Business Continuity and Recovery Services, and putting the plan into practice, will dramatically improve your chances of continuing operations during a significant event.

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