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As we've seen with Superstorm Sandy in the Northeast and storms on the West Coast, natural disasters can happen anywhere, at any time. Even though we receive advanced warnings of these impending events, there is no way to predict when IT issues will occur due to human error or malicious acts.
Who can predict how a lack of coffee might affect an individual's decision to flip the wrong switch on a server or if the cleaning person might accidentally unplug a server to vacuum the data center? And of course, as the service provider, you will get that middle-of-the-night call from an angry customer whose network has crashed.
The simplest method to avoid these calls and to ensure customer happiness is to fully educate users on the need for tested disaster recovery plans that leverage automated DR and distributed data storage sites.
Disaster Recovery Education
Although you know the importance of having a tested DR plan in place, many of your customers may not. It is your role as the channel partner to educate customers and show why DR is integral to company operations. You can quickly demonstrate your value as a business partner by demonstrating why customers need resilient IT infrastructures and how the downtime that comes from the loss of one application or server affects an entire infrastructure and all areas of company operations.
This might be best explained with an insurance analogy. DR plans are the company's insurance policy against the loss of data and services due to a disaster. The company has insurance plans for other aspects of operating the business, but why not one for IT data and services?
Companies state that they cannot afford more than four hours of downtime. The chart below, which comes from "Storage Area Networks for Dummies" by Chris Poelker and Alex Nikitin, shows the levels of lost revenue and the amount of loss by industry, based on publicly available data. Depending upon the industry in which your client falls, you could demonstrate the impact of downtime due to data loss or corruption, equipment failure or site outage.
|Industry||Lost revenue per hour (U.S. dollars)|
|Information technology||$1.35 million|