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Keeping a weather eye on business continuity and disaster recovery

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The Great British Summer has done its best to spoil sporting events like The Open and Wimbledon (and even Redcentric’s company golf day!). But there’s nothing like the sight of the awful flood damage to homes and businesses across the country to focus the mind on the more genuinely negative aspects of the bad weather.

From a business point of view, it’s fair to say that disaster recovery sits at the unsexy end of the technology spectrum. Ignoring it doesn’t diminish its importance, however; a major outage caused by flooding (or any unexpected event) can have a lasting impact on business survival. It’s a pity that some companies learn the hard way.

A solid business continuity and disaster recovery plan not only alleviates key IT risks for any organisation, but ultimately ensures business survival too. From WAN resilience to centrally hosting key applications, telephony systems and protecting business-critical data through online backup facilities, a quality managed services portfolio can ensure that unexpected weather doesn’t haven’t to spell catastrophe for your business.

Take telephony, for example. The past month or so has seen some high-profile outages in the UK. Whatever the reasons for a service outage, IP Telephony and Unified Communications allow businesses to re-direct calls and communications at will while continuing to use the same numbers as always. If your head office goes down, no one outside the company need be any the wiser – simply route everything, including reception and other staff services, to a satellite office and keep going. All you need is an Internet connection and you’re still in business.

From a data and storage point of view, you need to be sure that your hardware infrastructure can be restored quickly following an emergency, and that applications and/or data can be retrieved with minimum delay.

The first step here for many organisations is the replication of their data to a second business or data recovery site, but this won’t cover much beyond recent information. Off-site backup ensures that both recent and legacy data can be stored and recovered securely in the event of any loss.

Location-independent managed services ensure that disaster in one location doesn’t mean catastrophe for a business. Regardless of the technology choices they make, recent events have underlined the need for disaster recovery and business continuity planning.

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