Every business needs a disaster recovery plan

Every business needs a disaster recovery plan

On May 4th, a major wind and rainstorm blew through the city of Toronto, knocking down trees and hydro poles and causing widespread power outages. Toronto Hydro reported that around 21,000 customers were still without power at 7 AM the following day!

It’s worth noting that Toronto Hydro’s customers weren’t just people’s homes. They were also businesses, stores, and commercial office buildings - places of business that may have suffered financial losses if they didn't have a Disaster Recovery (DR) plan to fall back on.

So, if this had been your business, would you have been ready? Or would critical systems like your ERP and email have gone offline, forcing you to close for business until you could get help?

What is Disaster Recovery?

Disaster recovery (DR) is a plan that specifies the process or procedures to follow in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. This could include everything from access to company documents to vital communication platforms.

Even XBASE Technologies isn’t immune to these sorts of disasters. And because we host so many of our clients' IT solutions, it's even more important that our DR plans minimize impacts on our staff and our clients.

The May 4th power outages affected the Don Mills Road and Eglinton areas, where our XBASE Network Operation Centre (NOC) and Service Desk are located. At XBASE, we saw the these messages in our logs:

    Outage #1 – 17:11 to 17:22 – [Total Outage 11 Minutes]
    The Total Power Generator Monitor detected a "Generator On/Running" Alert at 05/04/2018 5:11:52 PM

    The Total Power Generator Monitor detected a "Generator Off/Stopped" Alert at 05/04/2018 5:22:52 PM

    Outage #2 – 17:47 to 20:34 – [Total Outage 2:47]
    The Total Power Generator Monitor detected a "Generator On/Running" Alert at 05/04/2018 5:47:17 PM

    The Total Power Generator Monitor detected a "Generator Off/Stopped" Alert at 05/04/2018 8:34:22 PM

That's almost three hours without power in our Toronto neighbourhood. However, our clients had uninterrupted access to the XBASE Service Desk throughout for 2 reasons:

  1. All XBASE systems are hosted in data centers that have multiple, redundant power circuits and diesel generators to ensure the power stays on. So our servers, networking, and virtual private network (VPN) systems all stay up when parts of the grid fail.
  2. The XBASE NOC and Service Desk are protected by uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices in the short term, and a 120,000-Watt generator in the medium/long term. In the logs above, you can see when the generator kicked on to prevent any downtime for our network, desktops, and servers.

Having these systems available meant we were able to continue providing service to our customers, while they were dealing with the same event. For our clients that were using our hosting services, their systems remained online and accessible, even if their offices were without power.

Weather isn't the only disaster that can interrupt your operations. Thankfully, XBASE disaster recovery solutions can prepare you for anything. It’s time for you to get started on your DR plan and ensure your business’s continuity.

If you would like to talk with us about how to use technology to improve your disaster readiness, give us a call now.

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