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Sandy: Disaster recovery of your business

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In the wake of the Superstorm Sandy and the unbelievable destruction it left behind, we were all reminded again of the importance of a well-planned Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity strategy every business must have.

Over 10 million people were still with no power three days after Sandy made a landing on the East Coast.

More than 3 million businesses – large and small, schools, government agencies, hospitals – are still affected to a point of being completely shut down.

It is still unknown the length of time it will take to restore power, rebuild and come back to normal operations for these businesses.

Every business owner, every CEO, CFO, CTO and organization's leaders must ask these two questions:

* How long can my business remain down with no data or computer operations before I will have to shut down completely?

* How much data can I afford to lose before my business will suffer irreparable damage?

The answers are different for every industry and trade, but across the board the statistics show that 61 percent of businesses that where without communication for seven days or more eventually shut down within a year. Further, a loss of more than 30 days of data is proven to be catastrophic to 78 percent of businesses.

The silver lining in the storm is Managed Private Cloud Computing, which includes a Disaster Recovery plan.

BTT&A, a law firm based in Southern California with more than 300 employees in 16 states – half of whom are on the East Coast, did not suffer any loss of business or data even when two of its offices were flooded and computers were destroyed. All offices that were in the path of Sandy shut down on Monday; however, all East Coast lawyers and staff who still had electricity continued to work in the cloud from their homes on personal home computers, laptops and iPads. Being that it was the end of the month, all billings went out on time.

"Having our entire infrastructure in cloud was a life saver," said MD, managing partner. "All calls were routed to West Coast offices, all data were backed up at our provider of cloud services in Los Angeles with complete redundancy in our Arizona data center. 'Business as usual' was the theme taken by all employees."

Not all Managed Private Cloud computing vendors offer complete Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity as part of their support. To do that the vendor must have, at a minimum, another complete setup of cloud infrastructure in another data center in a different state that is less prone to natural disasters with complete redundancies between its centers. In addition, the vendor must design together with the client a disaster recovery and relief plan. One area of concern will be, if the company's offices went down, where will the users work from?

"I just received a call from one of our clients – a known radio station – and was asked to help its in-house IT department design a trailer that is fully equipped from generators to satellite dishes, transmitters and receivers and all the computing power they will need for seven days," said Orie Rechtman, CEO of 4Service Cloud Computing. "Together we are now putting in place a comprehensive Disaster Recovery plan that includes, backup of all data, imaging, redundancies, replications, and Cloud communication."

Another important factor to consider: Put in place Emergency Chain of Command protocols and share them with your Data Disaster Recovery provider to establish communication in an emergency – intercompany, with clients, with vendors and suppliers.

Private Cloud Computing is a better way of doing business now and in the future, but together with it must come business policies that must be practiced at least twice annually with simulated back up recovery and redeployment under extreme conditions.

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Submitted by Orie Rechtman, CEO of 4Service Cloud Technology, Southern California's leading Managed Cloud Technology Services, Legal Cloud Experts, outsourced IT, Disaster Recovery and Backup and restoration solutions. Rechtman explains cyber threats in the cloud. For more information call 818-465-1295 or email to sales@4service.com.

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