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Highlighting the issue of business continuity


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This Sunday saw 71,024 fans flood to the New Orleans Superdrome to watch the biggest US sports event of the year, the Super Bowl. And broadcast live in over 180 countries, it is estimated that 100 million people watched the event in total. But even the biggest organisations and events aren’t immune to disaster. 30 seconds into the second half of the game, the Superdrome suffered a power outage which saw lights go out over half of the field, internet connections in the press box fail and scoreboards go dark.

During a televised event where the average 30 second advertising spot costs around $4million, a 30 minute power outage can be extremely troublesome, and serves to highlight the need for robust business continuity plans and resilience within organisations of all sizes. And in terms of IT, business continuity planning should consider people, data, networking and telephony, in order to ensure total continuity in the event of an incident.

At the data centre level, in my opinion, there are a number of features any truly ‘resilient’ data centre facility should offer as standard. Though back-up generators within the data centre may mean that end-users don’t experience any interruption to service, if the main power is cut regularly, it cuts data centre resilience, increasing the vulnerability of the data centre, and your business in turn. With that in mind, we store fuel onsite and conduct weekly tests to ensure failover capacity. Our N+1, resilient power system is tested weekly, and I wouldn’t recommend any less; our dedication to this strict regime of testing has resulted in our Harrogate Data Centre not having a power outage in 10 years!

The Super Bowl should serve as the business continuity wake-up call that organisations have been waiting for. Power can be cut, but you need not be powerless; you can put in place a number of strategies that ensure that disaster need not mean financial or physical loss.



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