CIO Leadership, Cloud

Top 5 steps for timely data center disaster recovery

Enterprises have business continuity-why not life continuity for humans?

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Imagine the data center of a hospital being struck by a natural disaster. The operative machinery in motion that drives the administration of the hospital systems and applications would come to an abrupt halt. While critical life support equipment would have its own backup mechanisms in place, the overall functioning of the hospital would be seriously impacted. In other words, the alternative environment needs to be stood up at lightning speed – in a manner that when it is up and running, the end users should not even perceive that a switch was made.

Recently, a close family member of mine was hospitalized for a serious injury in an automobile accident. Doctors advised that they may have to put him on life support. It was an emotionally challenging moment where various what-if scenarios wreaked havoc in my mind akin to a tornado, a hurricane or a tsunami. Humans encountering such disasters valiantly fight to restore their basic faculties in the single environment where they are hosted -- their body.

Hospitals, on the other hand, have a choice. They can switch their IT environments to cloud computing. 

There are 5 steps that hospitals can take to ensure timely recovery from such disasters:

Instantiation. Architecture and design of an IT environment to which production information can be continuously replicated.

Replication. Ongoing transmission of key transactional data in an encrypted manner to the replicated environment.

Configuration. Identification of the resources to be stood up in the replicated environment should disaster strike.

Restoration. Just like the human body has a natural sequence to being restored to life, there is a well-defined sequence in which the replicated environment is restored.

Communication. What the business users are waiting for -- the system is up! – a message delivered through unified communications.

Coming back to my family member, he did not have to go on life support and is rapidly recovering now.

However, I wish humans had a continuity environment like businesses do. How about a brain transplant? How about if humans start a new life within one hour and 19 minutes in a different body with no perceived difference in their knowledge and personality? If enterprises can have business continuity, why not life continuity for humans? I wish.

We can only speculate and expand on science fiction when it comes to human life.

Watch this disaster recovery demonstration of the HP Enterprise Cloud Services - Continuity at ORACLE Open World 2012 by George Ferguson, HP Continuity Services Marketing Manager.

However, when it comes to mission critical applications that businesses rely on, HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Continuity  ensures that the life of the enterprise never ends – it just continues in a different environment. These services require no capital expenditures eliminating the need for hardware and software facilities due to its as-a-service model. And it is not science fiction. It is real. Just watch the video.

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Discussion
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dutchengineer
Richard Sawyer 0 Points | Thu, 04/25/2013 - 18:51

Nadhan - Good points at a high strategic level - the opposite end from the business spectrum than the microplanning suggestions in my blog. The major concern I hear from the Heath Services community is the amount of data that they have to transmit and store, especially with mulitple CAT scan and MRI images. They have to keep a resident copy (local storage) and send available copies to who ever has a legitimate request for the patient infromation. These are truely big files, and have to be absolutely secure. This is their fear of using the cloud. Not enough on demand capacity, and not enough security for them to meet their regulatory obligations.

Regards, rick

enadhan
E.G. Nadhan 267 Points | Wed, 05/08/2013 - 21:11

Richard, Agere with the concerns you raise about the security of storage in the cloud.  Guess who is responsible when it comes to Cloud Security? http://ow.ly/jThrS

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pcalento
Paul Calento 256 Points | Mon, 10/22/2012 - 17:30

Healthcare feels like an interesting, often contradictory, vertical market, in the process of continuous change/evolution. One one hand, it is very conservative, with issues like patient privacy paramount. On the other hand, it is an industry known to embrace new(er) technologies, including tablets in the enterprise and cloud, as but two examples. At least to me, the biggest challenge of DR via cloud is an organization walking away from what they're already doing/invested in.

--Paul Calento

(note: I work on projects sponsored by EnterpriseCIOForum.com and HP)

enadhan
E.G. Nadhan 267 Points | Mon, 10/22/2012 - 19:41

Insightful observation, Paul -- "Biggest challenge of DR via cloud is an organization walking away from what they're already doing/invested in".  Couldn't agree more.  Also agree that Healthcare is an industry known to embrace newer innovative technologies as I outline in this post on Wearable Devices that matter to people we care about: http://bit.ly/O9u3fX

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