Business Continuity – what is a disaster?

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery are topics that most have heard of and like most, dread talking about it. The “it will never happen to me” syndrome is common! Just the other day SystemWise was in a situation that would fall under this topic.

Our electricity supplier notified us that they were going to change our electricity meter and that power to our office at 105 Saughtonhall Drive would be down for possibly up to two hours. Now this is a pretty major outage for us. No power = nothing. No phones, no internet, no cups of teas and worst of all, no microwaved last night’s left overs!!!

Being as our sole reason for existing is to provide technical support to our clients, primarily by phone and remote access tools, the situation we were facing was less than ideal. A plan was needed….

Our office has dual power feeds and only one of our offices was going to be affected. The office that was facing the power outage has; three computers, our internet routers, network switches and our phone system. We couldn’t live with this outage for two hours, the lost productivity to us and our clients would be too big to bear.

The simple solution was to nip to B&Q and buy a couple of long (20m) extention cables. We could then run these extention cables from the office next door that would remain with power to the office without and plug in the essential electrical equipment.

2pm came and the electrical engineer arrived. We sprung into life and ran the extention cables to keep SystemWise running. we stood back feeling pretty pleased with ourselves that disaster was averted. As it turned out, the engineer was a bit more efficient than we were lead to believe and the power was only down for 15 minutes, it could have been worse though.

Although the downtime turned out to be negligable and perfectly acceptible, it got us thinking about what a disaster was. This varies from company to company and shows that it’s not just deleted files,  dead servers or snowy winters that need to be considered.

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