What to consider if you’re thinking about failsafe options for your network
When customers ask about building a back-up system, it’s usually after some kind of wake-up call. Their network might have experienced a power outage. Other times, it’s because the Matrix team needs to take servers offline for maintenance or repair.
They start thinking of what that downtime would mean to their organizations. For many, downtime is inconvenient. For others, it’s a nightmare, especially if it’s unexpected. Sales are interrupted, phones go down, customers leave or lose trust, and data gets corrupted or lost.
While we were working with Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) in Bloomington, Indiana, we had some “real talk” about what would happen if part or all of the system went down, and what were the best, most cost-effective options for preventing a disaster.
A School District Requests a Disaster Recovery Plan
MCCSC is a thriving, digitally connected school district. Matrix was working with the district to modernize its IT structure and needed to take down the network for 48 hours to complete the work.
However, the district did not want employees, teachers and students to experience that much downtime, and asked what it would take to build a complete backup of their system.
Their initial request involved building a carbon-copy of their existing data center in a different location. This would allow for a fully redundant data center, and in the event of a disaster, allow for school to continue without disruption.
The price for a fully redundant data center was far more than they were willing to spend, so Matrix and MCCSC talked about ways to trim down the cost. After collaborating with the district, it was decided to duplicate just the mission-critical data and applications.
Today, the district is one of very few with a working failsafe solution for its data center. Administrators and leadership don’t have to worry about a disaster wiping out data or applications. As an added bonus, the IT professionals at the district can now do live maintenance. Previously, they had to work after-hours to update or replace a server. Now, they can set the backup server to take over while they complete their work during school hours.
Two Things to Ask Yourself When Planning for Data Center Disaster Recovery
Like MCCSC, many companies don’t need a full network backup, and can survive by building a duplicate system that includes just the essentials. After deciding what’s most important to your company, there are two more critical questions every business needs to consider about disaster recovery that will affect the cost of the backup system:
- How much data do you want to back up?
- How fast do you need it back?
It’s typically a trade-off between amount of data and speed. If you need all your data backed up, and you need it restored as fast as possible, that’s the most expensive option. If you can afford to restore your data more slowly, or you don’t need to back up as much, your costs will go down.
At Matrix, we’ve worked with hundreds of organizations on personalized data center solutions, which include developing disaster recovery plans for all different needs and budgets. For MCCSC, we were able to come up with a plan that fit within the budget and allowed the district to continuously run critical applications in case of maintenance or emergency.
Does your company have a data center disaster recovery plan? Contact us to learn more!
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