Mayan Apocalypse disaster recovery tips

Data backup and disaster recovery is probably something that has been at the back of your mind, and perhaps you’ve even put a plan in place. Either way, with the Mayans predicting apocalypse for Friday, Dec. 21, you should make sure your technology infrastructure is prepared to support your business through the end of the world.

If the world ends with a bang, then securing your data will have been unnecessary. Silver lining: you won’t be around to regret the unnecessary investment. However, in the event of a long, drawn-out period of Armageddon, with possible hellfire, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and the like, you will want to take steps to ensure your business-critical data remains accessible for those employees that manage to make it past the rioting mobs and report for work.

Good cloud, bad cloud

With the rioting mobs and break-down in civil order, it may not be safe for many of your employees to make it into the office – if the office is still standing, of course. That’s why you may want to turn to the cloud. Companies such as Amazon Web Services offer affordable cloud storage, and with Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365 your employees can access their work files and productivity apps through the cloud, wherever they can find refuge from the volcanic eruptions (and Internet access).

However, in the event post-apocalyptic clouds begin to rain fire, you may not want to rely on them for your mission-critical data. That’s why it would be a good idea to ensure your cloud service provider will allow you to easily download and transfer that data should, post-apocalypse, you decide to change to a less fiery service provider. Check your contract terms, and re-negotiate if necessary.

Don’t let the end of the world be the end of your business. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Redundancy is your friend

When it comes to end of the world, the only predictable thing is that it will be unpredictable. You never know where a new volcano will spring from the Earth, or when an earthquake will swallow a data centre. That’s why redundancy is your friend.

To survive the apocalypse, offsite backup and recovery must be part of your plan. Ensure you are replicating your mission-critical data and applications to an offsite location, whether it’s in the cloud or a physical data centre. It’s important to have policy in place to ensure the right data is being backed-up, and on a regular basis.

That way, if rioting mobs torch your primary office, you can restore your business in a new, less risky location and not lose your key data and applications.

Apocalypse recovery as a service

Finally, if you don’t have the IT expertise or resources to develop a robust Apocalypse survival strategy, many vendors have “disaster recovery as a service”(DRaaS) offerings that can take at least that worry off your hands, and let you focus on stockpiling water and canned goods.

For example, Symantec has partnered with Microsoft for a DRaaS offering that uses Symantec’s storage and disaster-recovery offerings in conjunction with Microsoft Azure to allow for continuous computing if a customer’s main data site is disrupted.

Act now though – many businesses have left their apocalypse planning to the last minute, so DRaaS providers are sure to be in demand.

And good luck!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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