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Experts Offer Top Tips to Prep Your IT Disaster Recovery Plan for the 2021 Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season is upon us as of June 1. During this time of year, businesses around the country are reminded of the importance of having a Disaster Recovery Plan in place. We asked our data center, telecom and tech industry experts their best tips for businesses to prepare their critical IT infrastructure for hurricane season. Read on to tap into their extensive knowledge and expertise.

Mike Licitra | VP of Solutions Architecture, Stream Data Centers

“Planning for business continuity means understanding the threats to your mission critical systems and implementing the appropriate level of protection based on a system’s criticality. Well-coordinated plans approach each risk by considering functional ownership, response and restoration. Cooperative disaster planning is not optional, unless you’re willing to put your business operations — and data — at risk. Partnering with a company that specializes in data center performance, is a wise investment for minimizing operational risk and maintaining uptime to ensure application availability during both emergent and normal operations.”

Phil Kenney | CEO, NFINIT
Phil Kenney

“Make sure that you have immutable, or air-gapped, backup, stored off network and in a different geography. We often find this missing from our clients’ disaster recovery plans. In last winter’s big freeze, many Houston-based businesses, large and small, learned a painful lesson about the importance of georedundant backup. As an example, systems for a major national insurance carrier were offline for days, in essence cutting off customers’ ability to file claims at the most critical time, during natural disaster. Recalling an immutable backup copy from a data center in a locale that wasn’t impacted could have ensured continuity of operations.

Implementing this best practice can ensure data access in any disaster – fire, weather, or cyberattack.”

Rosa White | CFO and Founder, DRFortress
Rosa White

“DRFortress, Hawaii’s largest data center, guides local businesses how to ensure business continuity and the protection of critical infrastructure and physical assets, while keeping employees safe during hurricane season. Businesses must have a documented disaster recovery plan that is developed, communicated to, and reviewed by your employees in advance of a storm. We recommend businesses assess their resources, train staff on preparedness tasks, and evaluate any suppliers or other external resources that are also critical for operations. DRFortress also advises establishing relationships with backup vendors in case your key suppliers are not available for support during or after the storm.”

JP Laqueur | Senior Vice President, Marketing, DataBank

“Any good IT disaster preparedness plan is created well ahead of any catastrophic event with redundancy and business continuity in mind. Earlier this year, unexpected winter weather hit Texas where we operate eight data centers and a power grid failure left many Texans without power for days. We were able to keep all of our data centers online because of the investment we made in backup generators and protocols, specifically to prepare for this magnitude of disaster. Investing in redundant IT infrastructure is your best bet to weathering any storm or unexpected crisis.”

Gabe Waggoner | Executive Vice President of Operations, Consolidated Communications
Gabe Waggoner

“As a critical infrastructure provider, we know preparation is key. It’s important to start thinking about the needs of your customers, employees and business well before a storm approaches. It’s also important to ensure your data is protected to prevent critical loss or unnecessary downtime. Consider utilizing cloud-based services which are highly reliable and allow businesses to get back up and running, in any location, quickly and easily should an IT disaster occur.”

Todd Cushing | President, 1623 Farnam
Todd Cushing

“At 1623 Farnam, providing our customers with reliable service is of the utmost importance. Our facility is located at the nexus of the nation’s North to South and East to West fiber routes, giving our clients multiple failover options to maintain service in the event of an emergency. And our 24/7 remote hands services allow us to provide swift support to any customers that may need some extra assistance. In addition, our vast hybrid multicloud ecosystem allows customers to pivot their workloads in the event of an attack or unplanned downtime. In our industry, downtime even for a few hours can prove catastrophic, which is why we are dedicated to ensuring our customers are protected on all fronts.”

The experts agree – preparedness is key. A comprehensive disaster recovery plan will help your business avoid big problems. With these expert tips in mind, make sure that you are covered this hurricane season.

To hear more tips from the industry’s top experts, check out our Virtual Roundtable on Disaster Recovery here!

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