Archive for December, 2011
This year, 2011, has been a year of tremendous natural disasters. It began with heavy rainfall in January in Queensland, Australia, and Rio de Janeiro Brazil, causing flooding, landslides, and crop losses. An earthquake in New Zealand followed in February, causing building collapses and an estimated $12 Billion in damages. Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in March resulted in the loss of an estimated 20,000 lives, massive destruction of buildings, loss of power and disruptions to transportation systems, a hurricane in the Eastern United States left 7 million people without power for days and many without power for weeks. Floods in Thailand that began in the summer and continued into December, flooded the capital, killed more than 500 residents and disrupted the lives of millions. In August, an earthquake rocked Virginia and shook buildings as far away as Massachusetts. And a rare October snow storm hit the North Eastern United States, leaving millions without power for days.
In all of this tragedy, there are some important observations:
- Disasters will strike where they are expected, such as the earthquake in Japan, and where they are not, such as the earthquake in Virginia.
- Disasters will strike when they are expected, such as hurricanes in the late summer, and when they are not, such as massive snow storms in the fall.
- Localized disasters, such as the floods in Thailand, can have far-reaching effects, such as the global disruption of the supply chain for disk drives.
The science that enables the prediction of the location, the size and the effect of natural disasters is improving, but it is far from perfect. The local impact of natural disasters is increasing, because people and businesses are migrating into a massive urban areas. The global impact of natural disasters is increasing, because the supply chain is highly specialized into centers of expertise, but at the same time is globally interconnected and interdependent. Because of this specialization, a flood in a relatively small country can impact the global availability and price of products for which the country provides a single, but critical component.
Perhaps the most valuable lesson in all of this tragedy is that a highly efficient global operation that concentrates capabilities into unique centers of expertise, leaves itself exposed to massive disruption from localized disasters and their impact on infrastructure and the workforce. One of our customers has reduced this risk by creating dual centers of expertise, separated not by hundreds of miles, but by half the globe. With the help of Axxana, these dual centers will operate not only highly efficiently, but 100% in synch. Perhaps it is time to re-think your strategy as well.
It’s no different in the world of data protection and disaster recovery. Prior to Axxana, zero-data-loss disaster recovery solutions were available. All you needed was a great deal of money and a willingness to accept lots of restrictions on where your data centers could be located or a willingness to accept transaction latency that would be deemed intolerable by most organizations. But as Craig Stewart (also know as VirtualPro), wrote after being introduced to Axxana:
You utilise Axxana so you don’t have to do expensive synchronous replication, so you don’t have to introduce unnecessary application latency, so you don’t have to have that second site within ~100KM distances. The reason this product is built to withstand every feasible disaster is so that you can safely use cheaper asynchronous replication over large distance and still guarantee that synchronous replication RPO that the business or application owner demands.
I swear one of those imaginary light bulbs went on above my head while I was discussing it!
There was so much good information in the VansonBourne European Disaster Recovery Survey, that I thought it was worth writing about it again. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the 250 European IT decision makers that VansonBourne interviewed reported having a data loss in the previous twelve months. The causes for the data losses included:
- Hardware Failure
- Data Corruption
- Loss of Power
- Software Failure
- Security Breach
- User Error
- Loss of Backup Power
- Physical Security
- Employee Sabotage
- Natural Disaster
When you think about Axxana, you probably think about protecting data from natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, and man-made disasters, such as bombings, explosions, and fires. And that’s exactly what we do. We’re fire-proof, smoke-proof, water-proof, vibration and shock-proof. Throw a javelin at us, and your data will be protected. But these kinds of disasters are near the bottom of the list of causes for data loss, so why do we even talk about it? Good question. Because, if you look up the list at all of the other causes of data loss, and you think about what we do, when combined with the snap-shot technology, asynchronous replication technology, and roll-back, roll-forward DVR-like capabilities of our partner, you will realize that we not only protect you from the really bad, but infrequent natural and made-made disasters, but most of the other causes as well. It’s a pretty good deal, and, for some, an unexpected additional benefit.