A River Runs Through IT

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By Greg Kyburz

Just try to imagine running a business without your data systems being up — no email, no online sales transactions, no way to process orders or payments.

How long could you stay afloat without those resources? For most modern companies, the answer is not long.

One St. Louis-area company faced this dire scenario on New Year’s Eve 2015 as Meramec River floodwaters began to seep into the lowest level of their headquarters building. As the water continued to rise, so did the threat that the flood could knock out the company’s data systems that support 37 sales and rental locations across the Midwest.

As the water inched closer, the company’s team decided it was time to act — they called me.

GREG

Greg Kyburz

 

As part of my work for Huber & Associates, I had been working with this company for four years to create a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.

Their interest in disaster planning was inspired by the catastrophic EF5 tornado that struck Joplin in 2011. Following that tornado, the technology leaders at this St. Louis-area company wanted to take proactive steps to make sure their company’s management team fully understood the threats associated with an unplanned outage.

As they studied the issue, company leaders began to grasp that in addition to physical losses, their company was at risk of incurring major short and long-term financial losses if the mission-critical systems driving their sales and rental business suffered a lengthy outage. Everyone agreed they needed a plan.

That’s where I got involved. As a disaster plan was written, Huber partnered with the business to understand which functions were most critical and, in a disaster, how quickly those functions needed to be fully restored before significant losses were incurred.

Using their extensive expertise in the IBM i® Operating System that runs on IBM Power Systems, as well as Veeam for their virtualized Intel Systems, our Huber & Associates team developed a solution for replicating full-system images. This solution allows the company’s data to be automatically electronically replicated to the Huber & Associates secure data center at a different location.

If the New Years Eve flood of 2015 would have been worse, this system would have ensured that the company’s business could have continued if water caused damage at headquarters.

But fortunately, the floodwaters receded and the disaster was averted.

However, this close call perfectly illustrates why a disaster recovery plan is a must for businesses large and small.

If you would like more information about disaster recovery, visit us online at teamhuber.com or call us at 888-634-5000.

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