Posted by Tim Luzadder, TCC Enterprise Infrastructure Director
Short answer, Yes. I’ll tell you a quick story about a friend of mine who works in a typical office building here in Indianapolis. One morning she showed up at work and there was water damage all over their suite with multiple ceiling tiles that had crashed down onto desks and computers. The sprinkler system on the floor above went off overnight to prevent an actual fire that had broken out. It did its job and put out the fire. However, the aftermath is what is putting both companies in jeopardy. Computers and paper files were all heavily damaged or destroyed by water.
Many small offices still do tape backups, hopefully they take them off site. Some company’s use Internet based backup systems. These are the absolute minimum. But what happens after an event like this? The company must find another location do work from, buy new computers before insurance comes in, and get those tapes working or data recovered from the Internet backup site. Company phones and email are probably impacted, possibly even the website is gone. How would customers be invoiced and receivables be processed?
“Cloud” infrastructure, whether it’s Amazon, Microsoft, Google or a local one like Lifeline’s, are built in datacenters designed with the worst-case scenarios in mind. They can withstand fires, power outages, and tornados. Cloud providers offer Disaster Recovery options so that even large scale regional events that affect the datacenter facility will ensure your data is replicated to another location and safe. Cloud providers are also constantly upgrading their platforms without you even realizing it. That means you continue to get the latest technologies, served up in a highly redundant environment, and protected from things like fire.
So, if your systems are in a cloud and your office is damaged, you can just focus your efforts on finding office space and dealing with the phones. Your website, email, accounting systems, etc. remain running and available.
Hopefully you’ve seen how valuable the Cloud can be. Hopefully, you’ve also picked up the need to plan out what would happen if disaster strikes. A company with systems in the cloud and a documented Disaster Recovery Plan can recover quickly and nearly seamlessly with their customers. In many cases, your preparedness can also be a selling point to customers.
There are risks to cloud computing, but they are no greater than the risks of connecting your servers to the internet. Make sure that the move to the cloud is accomplished by a responsible and experienced provider of that service.
For more information on TCC’s IT Managed Services, please visit our website http://www.e-tcc.com/managed-services.