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Jan 4, 2021

Backups vs. Disaster Recovery: The Ultimate Guide

INAP

Backups or disaster recovery (DR)?

If you’re planning a data defense strategy for your company, it’s important to understand which strategy is best for your business needs—backup or disaster recovery.

The Difference Between Backup and Disaster Recovery

Backup refers to the process of saving data by copying it to a safe place. Data can then be recovered in the event of infrastructure or service issues. Backups can take many forms, including duplicating data on the cloud or a secondary server in the same production data center, or saving data to a remote data center, etc.

Disaster recovery involves a set of policies, tools and procedures to enable the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster. Disaster recovery focuses on IT supporting critical business functions as part of business continuity, which involves keeping all essential aspects of a business functioning despite significant disruptive events.

While both solutions can help protect your data and critical information against unplanned disruptions and outages, sometimes backups alone aren’t enough.

Here is a breakdown of what you can expect from backups and disaster recovery solutions, so you can ensure your business keeps running even if your primary servers go down.

Basic Backup Solutions

Remember back in college or high school when you had to write a big term paper or thesis and you would save your work to a jump drive or CD (yes, those used to be a thing) in case your computer crashed and you lost everything?

You were running a basic backup of your most critical files.

How Backups Work

Backups work by providing quick and easy access to your data in case of smaller disruptions like outages, lost equipment, accidental deletion or hard drive crashes. Backup solutions copy your existing information to a second storage environment. You could choose to simply back up a few important files or your entire database.

The Cons of Backup Solutions

There are a few drawbacks to relying on backup solutions as your failsafe. Consider the college term paper example: If you have a sudden inspiration and write three more pages just to have your computer crash before saving your work to your backup source, you’ll have to start from the last moment you backed up. It’s the same with your business files—your data will only be updated to your previous backup.

Since many companies use backup for smaller-scale outages, in many instances they will keep their backups on-site or close to their primary facility. If these companies are hit by widespread natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes, there’s a chance those backups could go offline as well.

Cloud Backup Solutions

As a response, cloud-based backup options are becoming more popular because data center providers are able to offer near real-time data replication at off-site locations. In some cases, these cloud backup solutions are more cost-effective and reliable for business needs.

Disaster Recovery Solutions

For more large-scale outages, disaster recovery is your best option.

Disaster recovery solutions cover more than just the major natural disasters that might immediately come to mind. In fact, only about 10 percent of unplanned outages are caused by weather. That’s behind system failure, cyber incidents and human error.

Disaster recovery solutions replicate your environment, so if there is a major disruption, an automatic failover transfers the management and operation of your infrastructure to a secondary machine and site to keep your applications and business online. Your servers will then run off your disaster recovery site until your primary facility is back online and capable of resuming system functionality.

It’s important to note that disaster recovery options come in all shapes and sizes. Synchronous solutions replicate your data in near real-time. That makes this option one of the most comprehensive, but also generally more expensive. On the other hand, asynchronous solutions have more delayed duplication, which means some of your most recent data may not be recovered.

Important Backup and Disaster Recovery Terms

Understanding a few essential terms can help develop your strategic decisions and enable you to better evaluate backup and disaster recovery solutions.

  • Recovery time objective (RTO) is the amount of time it takes to recover normal business operations after an outage. As you look to set your RTO, you’ll need to consider how much time you’re willing to lose—and the impact that time will have on your bottom line. The RTO might vary greatly from one type of business to another. For example, if a public library loses its catalog system, it can likely continue to function manually for a few days while the systems are restored. But if a major online retailer loses its inventory system, even 10 minutes of downtime—and the associated loss in revenue—would be unacceptable.
  • Recovery point objective (RPO) refers to the amount of data you can afford to lose in a disaster. You might need to copy data to a remote data center continuously so that an outage will not result in any data loss. Or you might decide that losing five minutes or one hour of data would be acceptable.
  • Failover is the disaster recovery process of automatically offloading tasks to backup systems in a way that is seamless to users. You might fail over from your primary data center to a secondary site, with redundant systems that are ready to take over immediately.
  • Failback is the disaster recovery process of switching back to the original systems. Once the disaster has passed and your primary data center is back up and running, you should be able to fail back seamlessly as well.
  • Restore is the process of transferring backup data to your primary system or data center. The restore process is generally considered part of backup rather than disaster recovery.

Backups vs. Disaster Recovery: How to Choose the Best Solution for Your Business

In some cases, just the backup is enough to protect certain parts of your business from interruptions. For example, a complete disaster recovery plan for computers or mobile devices intended for employees generally does not require a full disaster recovery solution. If an employee’s device is lost or broken, your company is unlikely to be critically affected. You can replace the device and restore your data from a backup.

On the other hand, disaster recovery is crucial to protecting services and infrastructure that your company depends on to operate on a day-to-day basis. For example, suppose your employees’ PCs run as “thin clients” dependent on a central server to work. In that case, an interruption on that server can critically affect the business’ entire operation as it will prevent all employees from being able to use their workstations. Such an event is much more severe than an individual workstation break.

In most cases, the best solutions involve both backups and disaster recovery.

A solid backup plan that keeps your data accessible is helpful for minor disruptions, but without a larger, more comprehensive strategy, can cause all sorts of problems for your company. For instance, if your business collects, stores or transmits information that requires strict PCI DSS or HIPAA compliance, you will want to make sure those files are properly backed up and accessible in the event of a disaster—which might not be possible with basic backup solutions.

Consider incorporating your basic backup under the umbrella of a larger disaster recovery strategy to ensure you’re fully protected. Third-party providers will offer cloud-based disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solutions that are often more cost-effective and appropriate for your business needs.

Do your homework and determine the best strategy for your company. Because it’s not a question of if, but when you’ll need to recover from an unplanned outage.

Original version published May 30, 2018

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Aug 13, 2019

How to Keep your IT Infrastructure Safe from Natural Disasters

Laura Vietmeyer, Managing Editor

Costly natural disasters—think disasters that cost over $1 billion—are occurring with increased frequency. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there was an average of 6.3 annual billion-dollar events from 1980-2018, yet in the last five years alone, the average doubled to 12.6.

Last year, natural disasters cost the U.S. $91 billion, and there were 30 events in total over 2017 and 2018 with losses exceeding $1 billion.

Whether the event is a hurricane, flood, tornado or wildfire, businesses can be blindsided when they do happen. And many businesses are woefully unprepared. As many as 50 percent of organizations affected won’t survive these kinds of events, according to IDC’s State of IT Resilience white paper.

Of those businesses that do survive, IDC found that the average cost of downtime is $250,000 per hour across all industries and organizational sizes.

Disaster Recovery Stats

Imagine what would happen if your business takes a direct hit and your data, applications and infrastructure are disabled. We all know that these events are unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t do something now to prepare for any eventuality.

Here are a few basic steps you should take to protect your IT infrastructure and keep your business up and running after a natural disaster.

Perform a Self-Evaluation

The first step in protecting your sensitive information is to determine exactly what needs to be safeguarded.

For most companies, the biggest risk is data loss. Determine how many instances of your data exist and where they are located. If your company only performs backs up onsite or even stores data off-site with no additional backup, you need to reevaluate your strategy. Putting all your eggs in one basket makes it easy for your information to be wiped out by natural disasters.

Think About Off-Site Backups in Different Locations

If you do use off-site backups for your information, you’re taking a step in the right direction, but depending on their physical location, your data might not yet be fully protected.

Consider this scenario: Your business is headquartered in San Francisco and you back up your data in nearby Silicon Valley. A massive earthquake strikes the Bay Area (seismologists say California is overdue for the next “big one”), disabling your building as well as the data center where your backup data is located. Depending on the size of the disaster it could take hours, days or even weeks before your data is accessible. Would your company be able to survive this disruption?

A smarter option would be to select a backup site that’s not in the same geographic region, reducing the chances that both locations would be impacted by the same disaster.

Consider the Cloud

An option becoming more popular with businesses is to utilize cloud storage as their backup solution. INAP provides a cost-effective and scalable storage option, providing a flexible and dependable cloud storage solution.

Another dependable and more robust option, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) replicates mission-critical data and applications so your business does not suffer any downtime during natural disasters. DRaaS provides an automatic failover to a secondary site should your main environment go down, while allowing your IT teams to monitor and control your replicated infrastructure without your end users knowing anything is wrong.

Think of DRaaS as a facility redundancy in your infrastructure, but rather than running your servers simultaneously from multiple sites, one is just standing by ready to go in case of an emergency.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

It’s never a bad time to evaluate your disaster recovery strategy. But if you’re waiting for a natural disaster to come barreling toward your city, then you’re waiting too long to establish and activate your backup strategy.

It’s just up to you and your IT team to determine which services are most appropriate for your business needs.

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Apr 27, 2018

3 Steps to Convince Your Boss You Need Disaster Recovery

INAP

Try as you might, there’s nothing you can do to completely protect against infrastructure failure.

Even the biggest fish in the sea suffer from unplanned disruptions. Remember when Amazon’s S3 had a massive outage in February 2017? To Amazon’s credit, they acted quickly and remediated the problem within hours, but more than 145,000 websites and 120,000 domains were impacted.

For IT professionals, outages like this are often top of mind when trying to pitch disaster recovery (DR) solutions to their boss and company executives. Professionals are often faced with two major hurdles: Some members of the C-suite only think about natural disasters and do not consider equipment failure, human error and cyber incidents. Plus, widespread outages caused by disasters are rare, so executives may doubt the need for a comprehensive DR strategy.

Here are three steps you can take to make a solid argument that a robust disaster recovery solution should be included in your IT budget.

Explain Exactly What Constitutes a Disaster

Mention the word “disaster” to your bosses and what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Probably hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and locusts (OK, maybe not the last one). And that would make sense. After all, the U.S. spent more on weather disasters in 2017 than any other year on record.

But it’s not just these large acts of God that can cause problems for your infrastructure. An electrical fire in two substations caused a power outage at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in December 2017. The disruption forced airlines to cancel flights for days – Delta Air Lines reported losses up to $50 million.

It’s important that you emphasize that the term disaster can be used to describe anything from major weather events to technology failures and even cyber incidents. Explain how even minor incidents can cause major problems.

Explain Disruptions in Dollars and Cents

If you haven’t already gotten the attention of your executives by describing how disasters are more common than they think, hit them with information about how much these disruptions could cost your business.

Think worst case scenario. According to ITIC, 98 percent of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs their business more than $100,000. Even more staggering, nearly a third of organizations say this cost is more than a $1 million an hour. And this cost is just for the disruption itself. Point out the potential financial impact of customers who abandon your brand or negative publicity as a result of the public outages.

Provide Disaster Recovery Options

Now that you’ve pitched the doom and gloom scenario, come prepared to offer a solution – and most importantly, its cost.

When executives are budget planning, they aren’t going to just hand out a blank check to IT for resources when managers can’t provide specifics about how they will be used and why they will benefit the business. Consider your audience: You don’t need to provide extremely technical information, but you should be able to provide a high-end overview of the solutions you are proposing.

Examine your options for protecting your data during a disaster. Synchronous disaster recovery and data backups duplicate your critical information, so it remains accessible if your servers go down. Since this replication is done in near real-time, this is generally the most expensive option, but it provides the most comprehensive recovery solution. On the other hand, asynchronous solutions won’t be as pricey but have delayed duplication ­– anything from a few seconds to minutes. This means you will lose some of your data if your infrastructure goes down. Figure out if the additional cost is worth limiting the potential loss of data.

In addition, it’s important you consider the type of DR service that meets your specific business needs. Sure, you could build something yourself, but this might not be the most cost-effective option. A more reasonable option might be cloud-based disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), which is run by a third-party provider, freeing up your IT staff to focus on core business needs. Each vendor will price this solution differently based on your specific service and functionality, so do your homework.

Sign up today for a free consultation with an INAP expert to learn more about our disaster recovery solutions.

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Dec 17, 2013

2014 IT security priority: Business continuity/disaster recovery

INAP

istock_Disaster_recovery_smSecurity is a central topic and concern in the digital economy. IT security attracts a significant amount of attention because of its business risk and far-reaching consequences, including significant revenue loss, customer loss and legal ramifications. Recent surveys completed in 2013 by accounting firms PwC and EY provide interesting insight into security priorities and future funding plans by corporate America.

In its 2013 survey, “Under cyber attack”, EY interviewed 1900 respondents, primarily C-suite professionals and executives from finance, IT and security. Rated by respondents as a number 1 or 2 priority, the top 3 security concerns include:

  1. Business continuity/disaster recovery – 68%
  2. Cyber risks/threats – 62%
  3. Data leakage/data loss prevention – 56%

Indeed, business continuity/disaster recovery requires considerable foresight and planning. It is essential to understand the business impact in the unfortunate case that disaster strikes. This is more than a theoretical argument as evidenced in the EY survey; 10% of the respondents claimed that the threat of natural disasters has increased risk exposure for their business in the past 12 months. Organizations should set acceptable downtime limits for restoring critical business functions and plan accordingly. Consider the ramifications not only for your business, but for your customers as well, should a worst case scenario occur.

Part of business continuity planning involves the data center. What plans will you have in place for data center recovery? Shortest recovery times may be achieved by establishing a hotsite, an alternate secure facility fully equipped and on stand-by to take over operations. If this level of response is unnecessary, warm or cold sites are possible options. Alternatively, the cloud, public or private, may provide the best solution for your requirements. “PwC’s 5th Annual Digital IQ Survey” shows that 2013 investment in the private and public cloud was expected to increase significantly; we will need to wait and see if this prediction came true, and the extent to which this investment was targeted for business recovery purposes.

Clearly, selecting the appropriate data center recovery option is critical to the success of the overall business continuity plan. To what extent will your corporation develop contingencies for 2014 and beyond?

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Jun 18, 2013

Industry news: cloud and colocation services offer data protection and security

Ansley Kilgore

Whether you’re trying to protect your data from a natural disaster, or concerned about meeting compliance or regulatory requirements for data storage, colocation and cloud services can provide peace of mind for your business. While there are many reasons to take advantage of colocation services, improved security and data protection can be some of the most important.

Below is a collection of articles to provide insight into the security capabilities of colocation and cloud services.

NIST releases cloud security documentation
The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently revealed a new standard document designed to accelerate cloud adoption in government settings. The guidelines are focused on helping public sector organizations establish cloud computing use models that are secure enough to meet stringent government requirements.

Colocation hosting offers value as a data protection strategy
Colocation providers offer remote storage, network security, firewalls and physical protections for your data. Access to your servers can be better controlled in a secure data center than in most office buildings. Colocation services can also help control access to your internal networks, making sure that only those who are authorized can access confidential data and company information.

Active Hurricane season predicted — colocation can be an asset
Colocation providers that offer complete infrastructure redundancy help minimize the risk of data loss in the event of a disaster. Data centers with reliable N+1 design and concurrent maintainability, such as Internap’s New York Metro data center, can protect against outages. When evaluating data center providers, make sure their facilities have the right infrastructure design and preventative maintenance in place so that your data and equipment are protected if disaster strikes. Since natural disasters are unpredictable, no data center can guarantee that your servers won’t go down, but data center facilities and colocation services can be a key part of your disaster recovery strategy.

Keep security in mind when choosing a cloud provider
The public cloud created security concerns initially, because multiple organizations were sharing resources from the same cluster of servers. If one company experienced a breach within its virtual machine, it was possible that other organizations sharing the same resources could also be affected. However, with dedicated private cloud options and secure networks, cloud providers can successfully protect data and avert threats.

For up-to-date information on IT industry news and trends, check out Internap’s Industry News section.

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Mar 27, 2013

The business impact of downtime

INAP

business impact of downtimeWhen hearing the phrases “disaster recovery” or “disaster preparedness,” many people immediately think of how they can prevent or mitigate the downtime caused by an extreme weather event – such as a hurricane, earthquake, flood or tornado.

But the reality is that these phenomena are rare, and the much more common causes of downtime are events like power outages, IT failures, and human error. Gartner projects that “through 2015, 80% of outages impacting mission-critical services will be caused by people and process issues.”

Even major global brands are not immune to man-made disruptions, as seen recently in these well-publicized outages: Facebook went down for 2 hours last May and saw its stock price drop nearly 6% the next day; the entire GoDaddy hosting network failed last September, causing millions of sites and emails to stop working; and, of course, the infamous Netflix outage last Christmas Eve which set off a firestorm of angry tweets from subscribers.

While a disruption to your business may not receive quite the same media coverage as the above, the impact can still be significant and, in some cases, disastrous.

For example, ask yourself the following:

  • If your website or payment processing system went down, how much revenue would you lose?
  • How much revenue would be lost if your employees couldn’t work at their full capacity because a critical system was unavailable?
  • What would be the impact if your company was unable to comply with a regulatory audit because of system unavailability or data loss?
  • What if a system outage meant you couldn’t meet service-level agreements (SLAs) to your customers or partners?
  • How would your company’s reputation be affected if your critical IT systems were unavailable for more than a few hours?

Once you start quantifying the potential financial impact of downtime, it should be pretty clear why having a disaster recovery plan is so important.

For a deeper dive on the impact of downtime and guidance on disaster recovery delivery models, attend our April 25th Disaster Recovery webcast featuring guest presenter Rachel Dines, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research, Inc.

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Mar 14, 2013

Disaster preparedness: recovery vs. prevention

Ansley Kilgore

Data_Center_floor_DSC_5354_680x340Many IT and operations professionals focus on establishing processes and procedures to get systems back up and running after a disruption, but it’s also important to have the right IT Infrastructure in place before disaster strikes. As part of your 2013 IT strategic planning, disaster recovery and prevention capabilities should always be one of the factors you evaluate.

Fortunately, it’s easy to mitigate disruptions when you have the right foundation for your infrastructure. Data centers, colocation services and cloud hosting are designed with business continuity in mind, plus you get the added benefit of improving internet performance. Let’s look at three elements of disaster resistant design and infrastructure that can help you prepare and sometimes prevent disruptions from happening.

Redundant power circuits
Internap colocation facilities help mitigate the likelihood of power outages by providing a second circuit path. Having redundancy options and backup power systems in place can help prevent a disruption before it begins. When evaluating providers, make sure their redundant network devices don’t connect to the same patch panel, Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system, breaker or other infrastructure.

Routing Control
Whether you experience a major outage due to a natural disaster, or are simply having internet performance problems in your local area, our Managed Internet Route Optimizer™ (MIRO) will dynamically seek out the fastest route for optimal internet speed. This results in minimal impact on your business operations, even if your main internet provider goes down.

State-of-the-art fire prevention
Our data centers are equipped with the most advanced fire detection and control technology. We also have strict rules in place to prevent dangerous situations such as power surges from becoming a larger problem.

Don’t overlook the importance of disaster recovery during your 2013 IT strategic planning – put the right preventative measures in place before something unexpected happens. If you’re making decisions on new technologies or services that affect your infrastructure, be sure to evaluate their disaster recovery capabilities. Building the right IT foundation can help you prevent disruptions and avoid lost revenue, waning customer confidence and costly maintenance. The ability to recover your data and maintain business continuity after a disaster is critical to the success of your business.

At Internap, we go to great lengths to mitigate disasters. To learn more about maintaining business continuity, check out our ebook, Data Center Disaster Preparedness: Six Assurances You Should Look for in a Data Center Provider.

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Feb 19, 2013

Backups and backup strategies

Ansley Kilgore

It’s important to have a backup strategy to ensure you’re backing up the data you need, so that in the event of a recovery – whether from a server crash or other disaster – you can restore the data as quickly as possible.

We’ve identified four things you may want to consider when deciding what does and doesn’t need to be backed up.

1. Operating system – At Internap, we use operating system images pre-built and ready to go, to redeploy to a server at the drop of a hat. Using our portal and API, you can redeploy a server on demand in as little as seven minutes by deploying standardized operating system image. You don’t need to back up your operating system, because we’ve got that covered.
2. Operating system configuration files – You may want to back these up, as well as the applications you installed on your operating system, such as the web server or database service. A better way might be to use a configuration management system to deploy those applications, or deploy those configuration changes after you’ve installed the server. At Internap, we use a system called Chef, which is very common in the industry, and allows you to always ensure your server is configured the same every time, whether you’re restoring from a server crash or deploying new servers because you need additional capacity. So it’s not necessary to back up your operating system configuration in your applications.
3. Customer application code – This might be the actual content of your website, your Drupal application, or whatever is powering your site. If you use a deployment workflow, backing up your application may not be necessary, because you already keep a master copy in source control if you’re using a deployment workflow like this. For example, your developers, who are working independently, are pushing code in to a source control management system. You’re pushing out to test environments regularly and tracking changes. Later, when pushing to a staging environment, you’re testing preferably with live data and as close to your production environment as possible. Once you’re satisfied that everything works exactly as expected, you then push from that master copy into production. Where the dynamic content comes in, is when users are uploading into your production system. This could be as website visitors who are uploading files or posting comments to forums, or a web master or site administrator who is developing content within a content management system after you’ve deployed the application.
4. App & user data – Finally, you have the user data that comes with your application. This is the content generated after you’ve deployed it. This might be the files that users or site visitors upload, or content that your site administrator or webmaster has written within a content management system content generated after you’ve deployed it.

Once you’ve figured out exactly what needs to be backed up, you can choose the best method to protect your data. Whether you’re using simple scripts utilities or continuous data protection software, you can check against these four elements to see what you need to back up, and how and when, so that when it’s time to recover from a disaster or server crash, you can do it as quickly as possible.

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Feb 7, 2013

Does your data center provider have what it takes to prevent disaster?

INAP

iStock_network_server_room_IT_300x1501Threats to business continuity can take place any time of year, so it’s important to always be prepared. If you are seeking a new data center provider or merely reevaluating your existing one, there are several questions you should ask to determine their ability to prevent a disruption to your critical business operations in the event of a disaster – whether natural or man-made.

Unexpected events are inevitable, but by selecting the right data center partner, you can minimize the impact of these events on your business. The keys to disaster preparedness for a data center provider are:

1) infrastructure design,
2) documented response plans,
3) mock disaster drills,
4) preventative maintenance,
5) clear communications and last, but certainly not least,
6) the right people.

All of these elements should be in place, well-documented where necessary and audited by a third-party firm consistent with Service Organization Controls (SOC) reporting standards. To learn more and get specifics about each of the above, download our eBook, Data center disaster preparedness: 6 assurances you should look for in a data center provider.

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Jan 18, 2013

The Atlanta Falcons: six lessons in disaster recovery from the dirty birds

Ansley Kilgore

six lessons in disaster recoveryFor most of last Sunday’s NFL playoff game, the Atlanta Falcons rose above the Seahawks in the Georgia Dome. But with a 20-point lead and minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, disaster struck. The feisty Seahawks went on a surprise attack that sent the soaring Falcons into a speeding nosedive, threatening a disastrous end to an otherwise great season. With 31 seconds left to play, disaster (call him Marshawn Lynch) scored a touchdown. Seattle was up 28-27. And just like that, a once boisterous, confident stadium suddenly transformed into a quiet, doubtful dome. There I stood, among a stunned crowd looking at defeat, thinking to myself, “They better have a plan.”

Thankfully, the Falcons did have a plan. The game was a great example of how disaster preparedness can help overcome setbacks. Here at Internap, this reminded us that preparing for disaster is also critical for your IT Infrastructure.

As the Falcons get ready for another tough playoff challenge, let’s take a look at six ways your data center provider can prevent disruptions to your critical business operations when disaster strikes.

1. Disaster-resistant design & infrastructure
First and foremost, make sure your data center provider’s facilities are designed to N+1 redundancy standards for both power and cooling. The Atlanta Falcons are a well-built team, designed to find ways to win using an infrastructure based around speed, power and the ability to maintain coolness under pressure, a.k.a. “Matty Ice”.

2. Documented emergency response plan
It is critical that your provider has well-documented emergency preparedness and disaster response plans. Coach Mike Smith and his staff have a sophisticated and explosive playbook that guarantees success if implemented correctly when disaster strikes.

3. Mock drills
Only through testing and conducting drills will a data center provider truly be prepared for an event. The infamous two-minute drill is practiced multiple times in any offense, and results in perfectly designed plays that give the Falcons a chance to win by a touchdown or field goal.

4. Preventative maintenance
A highly structured and robust maintenance program is crucial in preventing a disaster from impacting your business. Your provider should have a Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to keep track of when maintenance is due, as well as repairs that have already been done. After failing to score during most of the 4th quarter, the Falcons decided to perform some maintenance on their offense with seconds to go in the game. Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez had been top threats all game, so the Falcons decided to change their plan and target receiver Harry Douglass – open for a 29-yard gain. Life breathed into the Georgia Dome once again.

5. Communication best practices
Expect your data center provider to notify you of any potential business-impacting events, as well as send timely, detailed updates throughout. Matt Ryan gives phenomenal instructions in no huddle situations. By effectively communicating plays at the line and directing players in poetic cadence, he sets up Tony Gonzalez to sprint off the line, find a hole in the defense and run for a 19-yard gain. With 14 seconds to go, fans rise to their feet. Falcons have a chance!

6. The right people!
Does your data center provider have the highly trained and skilled people needed to operate its complex equipment? With all of the Falcons offensive weapons, Seattle struggled to defend Atlanta in the waning seconds of the game. And with one of the top ranked kickers in the league, Matt Ryan and the Falcons set up Matt Bryant for a 49-yard field goal with 8 seconds to go.

Now that the Falcons have digested last Sunday’s Seahawks meal, they are preparing for another glorious battle. Sharpening their talons. Polishing their beaks. On Sunday afternoon, two teams will duel in front of millions, but only one will survive. It’s time to Rise Up, Atlanta. Claim what is rightfully yours – Victory.

Learn more about the importance of data centers and disaster recovery in Internap’s ebook, Data Center Disaster Preparedness: Six Assurances You Should Look for in a Data Center Provider.

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