The Watchword for Hurricane Season is Always Preparation

A recent IDC and Zerto survey showed that over 90% of respondents don’t consider their organization to be IT resilient, and nearly half have suffered an unrecoverable data event in the last three years. With the regular occurrence of data breaches and cyber-attacks on most people’s radar, the devastating impact that natural disasters can bring, such as hurricane season, only adds another barrier to overcoming these statistics.

When a natural disaster occurs (hurricane, monsoon, flooding, tornado, etc), many IT teams panic. They wonder, when was the last time we tested our IT Resilience plan? Did it work? Where is the binder with the fully documented process? Has it been updated to reflect the new storage? Applications? Is our backup reliable enough?

Some IT Resilience solutions don’t make it easy to test the plan. Typically, the plan is many pages long, complicated, and requires many different people to execute it fully. Extensive situations, like flooding and hurricanes, mean the IT team needs to stay in the datacenter for the duration of the event, just in case they need to start the cumbersome failover and recovery process.

At Zerto, we have helped hundreds of customers prepare for and overcome the impact of weather on IT and businesses. Here are a few guiding principles to help you prepare ahead of the next storm:

  1. Non-disruptive IT Resilience testing. Zerto customers can test their IT Resilience plan at any time so they know it will work in the event of a hurricane or ANY other disaster. During the test, replication is still happening and the environment is still protected. Production doesn’t need to be taken offline and the applications are still available. Plan to test quarterly, or even monthly, and map potential threats to the best response. Solidify testing protocols and write test procedures and schedules, then communicate the test plans with IT management and LOB stakeholders. Establishing a game plan before the storm happens will give you the confidence that you can be resilient and back up and running in the face of a disruption.
  2. Study the clouds. No, really! IT buyers are steadily shifting toward cloud-first strategies and are re-evaluating their IT best practices to embrace hybrid and multi-cloud scenarios. The ability to integrate and manage data across environments is a fundamental requirement for operating not just as an IT group, but also as a business. An added bonus is that it allows companies in areas prone to seasonal-type weather to move data out of harm’s way. Woodforest National Bank, located in Texas, migrates its entire infrastructure proactively at the beginning of hurricane season and back six months later. This disaster avoidance strategy helps it to overcome any weather that may blow its way and protects its most critical financial applications.
  3. Execute the plan from anywhere.With a web-based interface, the IT team is not trapped in the data center that could be impacted by that storm. Failovers can be executed from a tablet in advance of the impending event, from your home, so you can be sure that your loved ones are safe.

Businesses can never be quite sure when a storm will hit. In the event of a disaster, businesses need a backup solution as part of the disaster recovery plan that works down to the last second, to ensure valuable work is not lost as a result of any disruption. The Zerto IT Resilience Platform enables disaster recovery and backup that is based on continuous data protection, which takes this worry out of a disaster recovery plan and being able to manage it all from a single platform keeps it simple.

The watchword for hurricane season is always preparation. Investing in the right IT resilience tools for backup and disaster recovery will guide these preparation principles, provide peace of mind and enable businesses to withstand whatever weather comes their way.

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Caroline Seymour is the product marketing director for Zerto, based in Boston, US and has been with Zerto since 2017. In this role Caroline leads overall product marketing strategy and execution. Prior to Zerto, Caroline was at IBM for nine years and has a wealth of experience in the Enterprise software space from the many roles she has held in Europe and in North America, covering pre-sales, product marketing and partner marketing.

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