IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

IaaS Providers Play Critical Role as Severe Weather Intensifies

Managed service providers need to ensure their clients have a proactive business continuity plan that includes a robust disaster recovery strategy. By Lex Boost

Floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and snowstorms—the last decade saw its fair share of severe weather of all shapes and sizes. Warmer ocean temperatures have been causing rising sea levels, which has been a contributing factor to changes in weather patterns and the increase in intense storms. In fact, NASA claims that severe weather will surge 60% by 2100.

Intensifying weather is not only a concern for communal livelihood. It impacts a business’s ability to secure and protect its property too. From data center stability to physical and digital security, it’s critical to plan for the worst.

Weather-induced business disruption can cost a company thousands of dollars in lost employee productivity, physical disaster recovery, and lost clients or customers. After all, time is money. So without a proactive disaster recovery plan in place, companies risk being one of the more than 30% of businesses that aren’t able to reopen their doors after a catastrophic weather event.

Develop a Business Continuity Plan

Every successful business continuity plan designed to outlast even the most severe storm includes a robust disaster recovery (DR) strategy. When it comes to DR, the two main concerns are:

  1. Restoring IT infrastructure as soon as it’s feasible so the provider’s customers aren’t left without access to their workloads
  2. Preventing as much data loss as possible after a disaster strikes

The best strategy is highly unique to each business’s needs. There is no “one-size-fits-all cure-all” for uninterrupted business continuity. However, two broad guidelines can be very helpful: diversify and partner.

Diversify: Engage a backup for your backup. The most common and proven method to prevent failure in software continuity is through the engagement of a second backup platform. Never put all your eggs in one basket, and never rely on a singular data center for all your critical workloads. Having a secondary storage site helps ensure data, applications, and business processes are protected against data center failures due to natural disasters.

Partner: Find an IaaS partner with DRaaS capabilities. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers can help their clients’ businesses stay afloat through many emergency situations. The more that companies migrate their infrastructure to the cloud, the larger role IaaS providers play in offering tried-and-true protection and recovery strategies. While an IaaS partner isn’t immune to “acts of God,” their goal is to serve as a safeguard to disaster.

IaaS providers with disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solutions focus on providing physical and digital security—in addition to continual testing—to help ensure businesses don’t experience gaps in operation. As with most partnerships, always discuss with the chosen IaaS provider which services they do and don’t cover as early as possible to avoid surprises down the road.

Find the Right IaaS Provider

Consider the following when determining which IaaS provider is right for your company:

Location, location, location. Record-setting cold snaps earlier this year around Dallas left millions of people without power for weeks. Wildfires ripped through California in 2020, burning a record-breaking 4.2 million acres across the state and forcing thousands of people to flee their homes. Hurricane Harvey displaced 30,000 Texans and inflicted nearly $125 billion in damages. While natural disasters can certainly happen anywhere at any time, it’s critical to choose a hosting provider that occupies data centers in areas of the country that tend to be out of the direct pathway of active storm areas. Further, organizations that host data in one or more data centers can boost latency in the event of a power outage and aid in recovery times. Spreading out data in multiple locations can ensure that if the business is in an area that doesn’t have power, continuity of service can still be attained.

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