What’s your Chance to be Hit by a Meteor? Statistically Zero. Nil. Nada.

A meteor crashed down last Saturday in Nicaragua, exploding and creating a huge crater.
In the spirit of our industry – IT disaster recovery and business continuity – you might expect me to inform you that the meteor had hit an electrical substation near a major city, causing a fire and knocking out power for days, which in turn caused IT services disruption and revenue losses for a number of banks, retailers, manufacturing and other businesses.

In this particular case, however, none of that happened. The meteor fell in an empty area, even though still 1,000 feet away from a hotel near the country’s only international airport (Managua Sandino). So, it could have been much worse, but this time the nature has given us a pass.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/08/tech/innovation/nicaragua-meteorite/

So what point am I making here? Well, it doesn’t take a meteor to start fire at a local electrical substation, destroy a power plant, or cut a major power transmission line. A lot more mundane events can cause a power outage. Multiple natural and man-made disasters can cause a disruption of an IT service. In fact, according to Forrester, it is the power outage that holds the reigns of being a king of IT outages, closely followed by hardware and network failures, and human errors. A lot more glamorous events like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and acts of terror all fit into a dismal 1%. See the chart below from Forrester Research.

Forrester disasters chart

The “unexpected” is not really unexpected if you look at the stats. Power outages happen rather frequently, for all kinds of reasons. Large IT shops have the luxury of working with big MSPs with fully redundant IT infrastructure. Depending on the size of your IT budget, if you are an SMB your options are more limited. You can invest into power generators/UPS (cheap but not reliable), move your entire data center to a remote location (expensive, but still not reliable), or build and operate the second colo site that fully replicates your primary site (even more expensive, but much more reliable). Or you might consider a hybrid cloud service that guarantees full recovery within the contracted timeframe, will not require new skills or additional resources, while keeping within the allocated operational budget.

Our recent white paper highlights some of the best practices (seven to be exact) to help you better understand your options and select the right solution.