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How to Create a Strategic BDR Plan

How to Create a Strategic BDR Plan

The Right Data For Backup & Disaster Recovery

For backup and disaster recovery (BDR) planning, you need more than a trusted solution. You need a data center that can’t fail. You need an IT team that won’t keep you up at night. Server room aside, you might want to back up everything, or you might want to delete outdated information. You might fear that your BDR plan will be too expensive if it becomes all-inclusive, or you might wonder if you’re cutting costs while risking a slow restore in the event of a disaster. Fortunately, many IT service plans for disaster recovery often rely on managed cloud services that allow you to scale up or down, adjusting your costs on a monthly, or even daily, basis (depending on your managed IT solution). However, BDR options abound, so let’s look at how to build the right BDR plan for your business needs.

BDR Solutions Across Devices

Choosing BDR

Things to consider when choosing a BDR plan revolve around your own personal preferences regarding on-premise backup vs. cloud backup. Where do you want your data stored? The varieties of BDR options are seemingly endless as we move toward a society that depends on cloud-based technology to enable nearly every aspect of business culture. Your BDR decisions are vital and unique to your company size, geography, climate, and more. Small business technology can help businesses struggling to grow stay competitive, even when business is slow. Larger businesses, especially manufacturers with complex ERP systems, choose cloud-based BDR for peace of mind against ever-evolving threats of cyberattacks and downtime. Across all industries and organizations, good BDR planning promotes the universally desired benefits of reduced risks and lower costs. So, information management similarities and differences in mind, where do you want to save, store and share your company data?

BDR Plan Quick Q&A

  • How much critical data do you need to fully protect?
  • How many users and devices will be affected by your backup and disaster recovery plan?
  • What are your greatest vulnerabilities (natural disasters, ransomware, malwaresocial engineering attacks)?
  • Do you know your RTO & RPO? Do you need DRaaS?
  • What is your BDR training and testing strategy?
  • Have you ever experienced data loss or data corruption? How did you respond? Did you achieve restoration?

Save Your Files & Save Them Again

Where is your data currently stored? In a web-based software? On a server in an office closet? In the basement storage area? In multiple places, including on personal devices (in light of BYOD trends)? You’re not alone if you’re struggling with data management. Likewise, you’re not alone if you’re struggling to choose a BDR solution that will be a perfect fit for your company’s future.

3 Basic BDR Roadmaps

If you want to back up everything, or if you want to back up one file, you have three basic options for saving your information.

  • Cloud services for BDR with true cloud environments and 100% virtual office infrastructure
  • Software solutions deployed on company-owned hardware that stores backups for disaster recovery
  • Hybrid cloud infrastructure that leverages cloud-based software solutions, off-site data centers and external technology specialists

Back up, Data Backup

A common concern is that a cloud-based BDR solution will cause excessive external data center usage, resulting in unforeseen ingress and egress expenses, among other unpredictable costs. The fear of creating luxury backups is real, and business owners have struggled in the past with surprise bills that read like fine-print privacy disclosures. This is why the planning stages of your business continuity strategy are critical in terms of IT budgeting. If you’re concerned about decisions regarding incremental backups, recovery point objectives, recovery time objectives, compliance, and all other backup and disaster recovery choices and expenses, then you’ll do well to first assess your core operations. If migrating to managed hosting, you might choose to waterfall excess data storage (such as old servers or unused servers) away from your cloud solutions. An IT specialist can assess your systems and make detailed server management recommendations.

Your BDR Plan Data Core

In a perfect business world, you can back up all of your data and also securely delete it at whim. Unfortunately, the burden of managing data often requires a highly skilled IT team to monitor and safeguard your BDR hardware and software. If you’re not at the point at which you can easily back up everything daily, then you’ll want to ensure you’re protecting critical information.

  • Financial data, including accounting software, invoices, payroll, transactions
  • Customer information and client data, including saved CRM information like prospect notes and lists
  • Critical data from project management activities
  • Employee information, including all HR files that enable operations
  • Paper-based communications, including image saves and scans
MSPAlliance Cyber Verify A Rating Badge Awarded to EstesGroup

A Perfect Plan For Your Business

If you need proactive or reactive backup and disaster recovery services, EstesCloud technology consultants are highly skilled at on-premise, hybrid and private cloud solutions. An IT expert can help you create a penny-wise BDR solution that keeps your data safe.

After The Disaster Plan, The Disaster

After The Disaster Plan, The Disaster

Disaster Plan: Dressed For Disaster

What Happens After You Choose A Disaster Plan?

If you’ve already settled on a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) strategy, you need to know that this is not a “set IT and forget IT” business solution. Yes, you now know that your backups are more reliable. Yes, you know that you have good hardware backing up your data. However, this brings about new focus to your data management activities: training employees, testing backups, and preparing for disasters through routine “fire drills.” Technology gets outdated quickly, so you’ll need to keep an eye on things like server care, cybersecurity, preventative maintenance, software updates, and data storage quality. Tech training is key: a good disaster plan means nothing if your team isn’t solidly prepared for a disaster, especially if it comes in the form of a malicious attack.

 

Training & Awareness

Because technology is always changing, and our world is becoming more digital, staff needs constant training. This is especially true in regard to cyberthreats. Advanced social engineering attacks often result in a data breach. Train your staff on everything from mobile device theft prevention to remote worker security. Your employees are the gatekeepers of your data. Cybercriminals often enter a network by phishing through methods like malvertising. One vulnerable staff member opens your portal to the dark web. Train and test your users. Disaster prevention begins with empowering your team.

 

 

Hardware Maintenance & Testing

A solid disaster recovery plan protects the backup of the backups. Test your hardware and also test the methodology, the infrastructure, and the people backing up your backups:

  • Do you have generators on-site?
  • Do you need backup batteries?
  • How reliable are your cooling systems?
  • Are your fire detection devices up to code?
  • Do you have flexible cloud storage for redundancy?

 

Timely Technology Testing

Your disaster plan should include a testing schedule. Testing should cover everything from user behavior to cloud storage quality. To be certain that your backups are ready and that the guardians of your data are worthy of the task, include the following points in your business continuity strategy:

  • 24/7/365 monitoring of all devices
  • Real-time alerts and incident response
  • Responsive maintenance, patches and updates
  • Continual monitoring of the cyberthreat landscape
  • Penetration testing
  • Disaster response training and cybersecurity training

 

Multi-Location Data Storage

Because natural disasters can quickly level your facilities, include an off-site backup as part of your data management strategy. A good disaster plan lists potential threats and appropriate responses. For example, if your threat is a tornado, an off-site backup is essential, and a tornado drill is also necessary. If your threat is ransomware, then your BDR strategy should include incident response procedures. Do you plan your IT budget with the possibility in mind that one day you might end up paying a ransom fee? Cloud-based backup allows you flexibility and resiliency here. If you know the ransomer doesn’t hold the only copy of your data, then you know you won’t need to pay a stranger to get it back.

What is your disaster plan?

Network Connectivity

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are complex and therefore need a robust disaster plan.

Our IT experts can take you through an ERP hosting demo to show you the power of private and hybrid cloud technology. We can tailor your hosting demo to be industry-specific. EstesGroup’s long history includes thousands of success stories in Epicor hosting, Prophet 21 cloud, and other ERPs (like Sage, QuickBooks and SYSPRO). If you’d like to see how ERP hosting can help your business, please fill out the form below, and our IT & ERP experts will prepare a custom demo.

Backup Disaster Recovery: Saving Your Solution

Backup Disaster Recovery: Saving Your Solution

Backup Disaster Recovery Server Room

The Aftermath of a Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan

Backup, disaster recovery, business continuity. Are you ready? 2020 proved that every business needs a recovery strategy. Data loss occurs when there’s an unexpected event (like a pandemic). A natural disaster, such as a tornado, can totally destroy your hardware. Innocent users can accidentally delete important files. Attacked by a hacker, operating systems can open your business to the dark web after a data breach. A cloud-based server backup could fail because of an unreliable provider. Fortunately, you can avoid these disasters and easily prevent data loss. Data recovery is easy with the right technology in place. This might be DRaaS, or it might mean a more basic BDR solution.

 

Sometimes you want to delete files permanently, and other times you want your data backups to include every moment, to never miss a bit. Ideally, you’ll never use your disaster recovery solutions. However, a good strategy should always be in place to prevent the decimation of your business. A good backup plan goes beyond just backing up your information. It includes the insider’s view of cybersecurity experts. Likewise, it includes the business acumen that can discern critical vs. nonessential data. Finally, it supports a secure BDR solution specific to your needs. As a result, you get a BDR strategy that’s easy on your resources and your budget.

 

Are you prepared for data loss?

First of all, a data disaster is common, so you’ll need to do more than back up your data on tapes or flash drives. A data saving appliance is a step forward from nothing, but all businesses can benefit from a robust backup plan that’s both tested and trustworthy.

  • 58% of SMBs are unprepared for data loss.
  • 60% of SMBs shut down within six months after critical data loss.
  • Accidents cause 29% of hard drive failures.

 

Here are some disasters that could demand data recovery:

  • malware, viruses, and ransomware
  • human errors, technology failures, and hardware damage
  • reformatting errors, software glitches, and software platform mismatches
  • deleted data, overwritten data and data breaches
  • physical theft and identity theft
  • hard drive corruption and server room corruption

 

 

On-site vs. Off-site BDRs

140,000 hard drives crash every week. To stay in business, you need to protect your company data, your employee information, and your client files. On-site backup and disaster recovery plans leave you vulnerable to natural disasters and internal social engineering attacks. So even if you feel your data isn’t worth the investment in an off-site BDR solution, you might need to consider things like your recovery time objective. How long will it take to bring your business back online after an attack? What if a tornado or hurricane levels your technology? What happens if you have a fire? Theft?

 

Recovery Time Objective (RTO): This is your limit on downtime.
Recovery Point Objective (RPO): This is your limit on data loss.

 

Cloud-based BDR prepares your business for a natural disaster or a malicious attack. Your data is not left in the ruins if you suffer a fire. It’s safely stored in the cloud, which replicates your on-premise data activity. Off-site cloud data storage keeps your on-site data safe, even in the event that your physical technology is destroyed.

 

BDR Training & Testing

Zero day attacks bring businesses down. Elusive, undetected computer viruses haunt corporate networks. Deceitful social engineering programs corrupt software. Once your system suffers a breach, it can be difficult to see the corruption. This is why a good backup and disaster recovery solution involves a robust BDR testing process. Moreover, it includes a training strategy. Your employees are the guardians of your data, and they need to be trained by IT experts.

 

Cloud-based backup and disaster recovery services protect the keepers of your most vulnerable information. If your data no longer exists, nobody can recover it. Backing up your business in the cloud creates an alternate reality for your business that can be summoned and restored in minutes. EstesCloud can restore a server in about 10 minutes. EstesCloud BDR gives you encryption, firewall protection, and other advanced endpoint security features that will continually keep your data safe.

 

An EstesCloud Backup Disaster Recovery Plan

Protect your business and keep it running 365x24x7 with managed application hosting or other cloud-based IT services. Small businesses, midsize companies, or large organizations all benefit from different types of backup and disaster recovery solutions. EstesGroup’s managed IT team is unique because our company began as a business consulting firm, and we evolved to offer technology consulting. Offering all-in-one IT and ERP solutions helps our clients focus on the work they love, rather than on the software or hardware supporting the business. For example, our Epicor consulting team services E10 or Prophet 21 ERP, while our EstesCloud experts take care of the technology that supports the system.

 

 

Learn more about EstesCloud managed hosting services for ERP systems. Begin building your backup and disaster recovery plan today.

EstesGroup’s ERP and IT experts know your industry, know your software, and know how to give you the solutions you need to make your business run better. We provide Epicor cloud hosting services, as well as Sage, SYSPRO, QuickBooks hosting and more. We take an industry-specific approach to consulting. If you’re a distributor, you’ll get both ERP and IT specialists in Prophet 21, or another distribution ERP of your choice. If you’re running Epicor software or would like to, you’ll get the best Epicor consultants for your ERP implementation team. We employ the best consultants in both technology and enterprise resource planning, so you can benefit from an all-in-one opportunity to improve your business by adding the support your company needs to succeed.

 

How to Move Your Business to the Cloud

How to Move Your Business to the Cloud

How to Choose a Cloud for Your Business

Companies are moving to the cloud in droves, swift to flock to new IT solutions. Fortunately, there are a lot of birds wise to the server sky. When you’re choosing to put your data on a remote server (“the cloud”), you’ll need to know that your internet activity is secure and protected against disasters. Leveraging the power of off-site servers allows you to securely scale your system up, down or around. However, just how to move your business to the cloud can become a bit cloudy with so many hybrid, private, public and multi-cloud options available.

How to Choose a Cloud For Your Business Data Spiral

Two-Step to the Cloud

First of all, moving your business to the cloud allows you to effortlessly adapt your technology to your changing needs. When you host software on a physical server that’s right in your own building, you have to invest a lot of time and energy dancing around in-house technology management.

  • Is your server the right fit for your current state?
  • Can your server support your future goals?
  • Does your server justify its costs?
  • Is your server ready for a disaster? Where do your backups go?

Egress Expense and Other IT Considerations

If your software (whether a basic app or a complex ERP solution) is in the cloud, you pay for your specific usage, rather than a blanket allowance.  Remote work enablement becomes easy sailing. Moreover, it opens the way for new ways of distributing your workforce. Furthermore, greater efficiency is a given. In the end, your secure, virtual office is everywhere you go, and you can also monitor and manage it from any location of your choice.

 

Unfortunately, data loss happens for every company. Sometimes through a breach. Sometimes through a disaster. Let’s look at a little data delirium:

  • More than 50% of us house our data in the same room as our core technology.
  • We tend to count on the data backup, meaning we miss the business continuity step of creating a disaster recovery policy.
  • Double trouble is a common business mistake. When your backup is stored on-premise with the core IT infrastructure, you take risks.
  • Moving to the cloud is often delayed by indecisiveness.

In summary, many businesses stand unprepared to for a company crisis, like a malware attack. Fortunately, our managed IT specialists can show you how to move your business to the secure cloud.

 

 

 

Move to the Cloud for Business Success

Here’s a basic walkabout of how to choose business cloud solutions:

  • Understand your cloud computing options. First, do a little research on different types of IT infrastructure. Then, look into your data history. See how technology helped your business become what it is today. Next, jot down ways you’re already using the cloud both personally and professionally. Finally, analyze your data and your communication needs. (In the end, awareness is key. For example, do you know if you use public cloud software and trust IT security to default infrastructure?) Do you need an entirely virtualized office? Do you need a hybrid cloud environment to host your data with lightning-fast sync and share capabilities?
  • To begin the cloud transition, separate your necessary data from the rest. Furthermore, question all of your software. Would you benefit from a more simple or a more advanced ERP system? What applications are necessary?
  • Decide public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud or multi-cloud deployment. Likewise, decide on a solid data backup plan for the transition.
  • Predict your costs and your roles. Responsibilities will change when your technology changes. Will your employees clearly know their responsibilities once your cloud solution is deployed? What’s your new IT budget, and who will be responsible for managing expenses? When you work with a managed service provider (MSP), you form a trust bond that operates at the highest level of corporate ethics. Do you trust the IT experts who will build, access, manage and monitor your new cloud?
  • Choose security, including business firewalls and automatic encryption. Who will manage vulnerable data? Do you need additional encryption services from your managed IT provider? Do you need all of your data encrypted or protected by advanced cybersecurity services? These are necessities for organizations that deal with sensitive data, and our IT experts specialize to keep up with compliance requirements for highly regulated industries (for example, managed IT for law firms or managed IT for hospitals).

 

See Through the Cloud

One of the great benefits of cloud technology is that you get to choose a solution that is exactly what you’re looking for. How to move your business to the cloud is dependent on so many factors that we recommend you get a software demo of your options and then work with cloud specialists to take it from there.

 

EstesCloud supports manufacturers and distributors, healthcare clinics and medical facilities, accountancies, law firms, government organizations, nonprofits, and more. Please fill in your information below, and our IT experts will arrange a personalized demo on how to move your business to the cloud.

What is Disaster Recovery as a Service?

What is Disaster Recovery as a Service?

A DRaaS Solution For Drastic Measures

A look at word origins surrounding business continuity can help answer the question, “What is disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)?” The word “disaster” contains the ancient weight of misfortunate heavens. As history goes, disaster is simply a bad star, and recovery is the return from unfortunate fate. In today’s technological culture, “recovery” (to the core of IT) means a return to digital health following a software or hardware mishap. On this note, let’s take a closer look at the fate of your business to help you clarify both the “what” and the “if” of your disaster recovery as a service strategy.

 

DRaaS Disaster Recovery as a Service

Is Your Data on a Close Cloud or on a Faraway Star?

It would take you more than 1000 human lifetimes to reach the closest star in our galaxy. If your current disaster recovery plan is at that same pace, then you might need to bet your luck on a different disaster recovery plan. This is where DRaaS services benefit companies. With real-time backups and fast restore solutions, the hybrid cloud architecture of DRaaS keeps your business operating on proven luck, rather than on hopeful wishes.

 

First of all, your lucky stars in IT (especially when it comes to disaster recovery) are always at a distance. Your business creates volumes of data, especially if you’re operating in an ERP solution. You need a backup that isn’t directly on-site in case a natural disaster takes out your IT infrastructure. By creating a virtual office environment, for example, you can securely work from home if your office has a fire.

 

If you’re asking “what’s DRaaS?” then it might be a good time to revise your disaster recovery policies. Data recovery services contain, in essence, a distance of time. Therefore, you need to consider how long can you survive before a data restoration returns your business to normal activities. How much downtime is acceptable? Hours? Days? A week or longer? Hopefully, you’re not merely wishing on stars for things like business continuity and business resiliency. 

 

Backup and Data at a Distance

Distance is a protective step for backup and disaster recovery planning. However you choose to copy your data locally, you need to protect your on-premise data with a remote recovery solution. As a feature of top DRaaS solutions, co-located data centers ensure that nothing you want to keep is lost in the shuffle of a disaster recovery. DRaaS allows you to exclusively focus on your business, while data recovery specialists carry the weight of replication stability and everything else, like clean rooms and compliance regulations.

Fundamentally, if you’re a business owner, you need two things when developing your disaster recovery plan:
  1. A protected (often remote) environment that holds your backups
  2. A plan for data recovery in the event that you need to tap into your backups

 

What’s DRaaS According to Fate?

A DRaaS solution is simply a private cloud computing environment on a partner’s server. Your data backups sync to a secure cloud, and an auxiliary server comes to the rescue when disaster strikes. For example, if your system goes down, and you’re using our DRaaS solution, your business seamlessly moves to a cloud-based server reserved for your data during the duration of a disaster data loss. What exactly happens following a disaster? Is your data recovery software ready?
  • First, you experience a hardware or a software failure. This might be ransomware, or this might be a hurricane.
  • Next, you realize your system is in the middle of a disaster, but you don’t worry because you’ve chosen DRaaS as part of your business continuity plan.
  • Then, business goes on as normal because your solution keeps your business running in a third-party computing environment. Your virtual server prevents downtime and data loss by moving you to a comprehensive virtual office. When your physical servers are compromised, your hybrid cloud infrastructure serves to keep your company running smoothly, ensuring productive employees and happy customers in your near future. This often means working remotely because what’s DRaaS good for on-premise if your facility is in shutdown mode?
  • Finally, you’re restored to business as usual, according to your recovery and restoration plan. The disaster is over. Your business continues, and your customers don’t even know you were compromised. 

 

How to Choose Between Basic Recovery Solutions and DRaaS

DRaaS is a robust solution, allowing complex manufacturing facilities to operate without the threat of server failure. But how do you decide if you need the best available disaster recovery services? First, consider your luck. Then, consider your backups. What is the likelihood that your business will experience a disaster?
  • Do you live in an area with hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes?
  • Are you on a rural grid with frequent utility outages?
  • Are you light on cybersecurity, and therefore at risk of a cyberattack?
  • Did you ever spill a coffee on your keyboard and delete important data in the cleanup?
  • Do you have old hardware that might fail from normal wear and tear?

 

More than half of data loss is caused by human mistakes. From cyber attacks to deleted files, human error is as steady as the constellations. Unfortunately, 58% of small and midsize businesses are not prepared for any level of data loss. On the same note, 29% of hard drive failures are due to accidents, and this data loss in such an event is entirely preventable.

 

At first and at last, consider your losses. If you were to experience a “bad star” data disaster, what are your expectations for your data restore?

  • Can your business survive a few days of downtime?
  • Can your employees and your customers handle a few days or weeks of data erasure?
  • Do you need failover and failback to maximize uptime and secure data by the minute or the hour?

 

 

We “R” in the Cloud

Replication, Retention, Recovery, Restoration, RPO, and RTO

 

Data replication and retention couple for data protection. You create copies of your data so that you can recover any losses in your future. Data replication can create real-time copies in the cloud. Backup services for data replication and retention can also migrate data into cloud storage for backup or even for analytics. Data from physical servers can be replicated, or copied, to support easy availability during a disaster recovery. Because data retention is often a requirement for compliance, companies benefit from data replication services, even if they don’t require a hot site during a disaster.

 

Data recovery and restoration couple for data continuity. To create a disaster recovery plan, you need to consider RPO and RTO. Understanding these helps you define your best options when recovering data.

 

 

What’s DRaaS RPO?

Recovery point objectives are based on your data replication needs in terms of frequency of application backup. At the end of the day, how much data loss can your business withstand?

 

What’s DRaaS RTO?

How much time can your lose? Your recovery time objective refers to your accepted timeline to data recovery and application restoration. Do you want your business to live on the cloud until on-premise resources are restored? Or can you handle a day or two of downtime?

 

 

What is Disaster Recover as a Service for the Future? 

Do you want seamless cloud environments to allow for full business continuity during a disaster? Future-focused, a virtual server provides 100% RTO by moving your work into a failover cloud computing environment, regardless of your disaster scenario. The fate of your business with private cloud hosting keeps you thanking your lucky stars that your disaster recovery plan continuously protects your digital well-being.

 

 

 

EstesGroup can help define and design your recovery process based on your operating systems and your private and public cloud usage. We can even perform data and backup testing so that you can rest easy knowing that your data is safe, secure, and always protected. We’ll count your data stars for you, so you can focus on the work you love.

 

Data Center Location is Critical to Your Company’s Success and Survival

Data Center Location is Critical to Your Company’s Success and Survival

Looking California When You’re Feeling Minnesota: Where is the Best Data Center Location?

 

For manufacturing companies, the advent of “cloud computing” has raised a lot of questions.  Luckily, you don’t have to wander lonely as a cloud to find answers to your questions surrounding cloud solutions for your business.  Not as complicated as a cumulonimbus or as feathery as a cirrus, a cloud in the field of technology is as simple, or as complicated, as someone else’s computer.  But of the many questions a manufacturer may have, one frequently surfaces in relation to the location of the data: “So where is my data located, anyway?”

 

This isn’t a small squall of a question: if you are looking for an on-premise installation or a server stack in the cloud, your primary and secondary data centers’ location is a decision of atmospheric proportions—one with direct business impact.  

 

Whether choosing hosted or cloud solutions, your data center location is critical.  You must be wary of where exactly your data center servers are located, for all clouds are not created equal.  Downtime is the great fear when it comes to all things computing, and is often the result of natural disasters—and do you remember how long it took to get the power grid functioning in Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria?  Clearly, minimizing the risks of mother nature is a central concern.  Let’s take a down-to-earth look at some of the natural dangers facing your company’s data.

 

Earthquakes

 

When I worked in Arkansas a number of years ago, in an area that was on the edge of the New Madrid seismic zone, I noticed the strange cross-bracing in one of the factories, and I asked a local about it.  He explained the seismic risks in the area, and recounted the family lore about the quake of 1812.  Then he looked me square in the eye and said, “Whatever you do, don’t blame Arkansas—it wasn’t our fault.” 

 

It can be a surprise to discover that one the largest earthquakes in North America’s recorded history was not along the California coast but was actually along the New Madrid seismic zone in Missouri—of all places!  This was the quake that briefly caused the Mississippi River to run upstream back in 1812, the year almost exclusively famous for the conflict between America and England.  But while the Americans were locked in battle with the British on the East Coast, they were unwittingly losing the war with nature in the Midwest.   

 

This might serve as a warning if you locate your data center in a seismic zone—if your server gets death-rattled into oblivion, it’ll be your own fault.

 

 

Tornadoes

 

Nothing can lay your blades out like a deck of 52 quite like a tornado.  Tornadoes pry open buildings like nature’s proverbial can opener, allowing copious rain and debris to decorate your server room like a third grade art project, and you don’t want to see your data garnished with nature’s glitter.  Tornadoes pose a risk not only to your data center itself, but they also tend to knock out your primary—and even your secondary power supplies.  Backup generators are often located adjacent to a building, making them a potential target for mother nature’s twisted wrath.  So while a twister might leave a building unscathed, it might take out your external generator, rendering backup power systems useless.  Of course, that’s a moot point if the contents of your data center are laid out across the lawn like your laundry, for all to see.  Luckily, a proper data center location can help you avoid an unfortunate game of 52-pickup.

 

 

Floods

 

I reached out to one of my customers after a series of tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma, and he gave the all-clear: “The twisters missed us, but the water levels are so high, some folks can’t get into work.”  That is to say, a natural disaster can be more sneaky than a weather channel headline.  While things like tornadoes get a lot of attention, water levels can do a lot more damage over time.  As such, one might think twice about locating a data center on a floodplain.  While all my gamer buddies are hyped over water-cooled CPUs, I don’t quite think this is what they’re referring to. 

 

 

Hurricanes

 

Hurricanes amount to the worst of wind and water, with the ability to pummel your data center into paste from above, or dissolve it into a silicon solution from below.  And while the zone immediately affected by hurricanes is rather small, the extended zone where hurricane-related storms transform into inland berserkers is much larger.  Locating your stacks in a place that is far-removed from the hurricane fallout zone will serve you well in reducing wind and water risks. 

 

 

Heat

 

Another sneaky disaster when it comes to all things electronic is heat.  Not too long ago, I was in Charlotte, NC with a coworker.  One morning after breakfast, we were about to head to the customer site when my coworker ran back into the hotel to retrieve his coffee mug, leaving me in the parking lot.  I stood out in the morning heat for maybe a minute or two.  Now, being a Canadian, I generally overheat reading the newspaper, and the morning temp in Charlotte was obliterating.  By the time we got to carpooling, I was already a puddle.  And this was still in the early morning!  Servers are like Canadian consultants—they work better in temperate climates.  When choosing a shack to hang your racks, look to locate it in a place where your cooling systems won’t be fighting a losing battle with the heat index.  Servers generate enough heat on their own—they don’t need any help! 

 

The Cloud

 

While the notion of “The Cloud” brings with it visions of the ethereal, it is in reality quite terrestrial in nature.  Hosting a customer’s ERP system is a huge responsibility, and not one to be taken lightly.  The cloud itself can be just as risky as a hurricane.  As such, the EstesGroup is all about maximizing service while minimizing risk.  In support of our Epicor Hosting initiative, we keep our data center located in Michigan, which has a favorable climate for keeping servers cool as a cucumber, while avoiding the many environmental pitfalls noted above.  Moreover, by having our data center location in the Midwest, we provide centrality that allows us to rapidly service a broad region.  With optimal location and cloud infrastructure, the team at EstesGroup can serve your business needs by providing ideal solutions for your data, regardless of the weather. 

 

If you find yourself looking to the sky for answers to your worldly business questions, please give our team a call.