Hurricane season is here

An uptick in the frequency of severe weather is a sure sign that summer is near. And for the Caribbean, that means hurricane season is quickly approaching.

Last year, three major hurricanes — Harvey, Irma and Maria — caused an estimated $67 billion in damage in a 28-day window. Forecasters are again calling for an above-average hurricane season in 2018. Hurricane season began June 1 and extends through Nov. 30. But named storms can form even in May. Four of the last six years we saw hurricanes form before the official season even began, according to the Weather Channel.

So this gets the IT team thinking, “hmmm, when was the last time we tested our DR plan? I better start digging out the 3 inch binders and see if anything needs to be updated.” Then the hunt for the results of the last test begins. Most likely, the practice run was done over a year ago. Zerto recently conducted a survey and found that almost 70% had run their last test over a year ago — or never!

Are you ready to protect your data?

So, what are your options for hurricane preparedness?

– Stay with what you have: Well, you can run the DR test based on your current plan and see how it goes. If it has been a while, it probably won’t go well and aren’t you just a little concerned that executing a 300 page plan in the event of a disaster might yield a low success rate? Too many steps equal too many opportunities for errors.

– Don’t fool yourself! Backup is not DR! As we all know, backup is not disaster recovery. If you are trying to recover your environment from a backup you aren’t recovering, you are building. Most backup solutions have very little automation and waiting for a VM to hydrate can be a painfully slow process.

– Could DRaaS help? Yes it could! Cloud providers are experts in DR — they execute tests and failovers all the time. It can also be nice moving from a really big capital cost to a more reasonable monthly operational cost.

– What about redoing your own plan? I know you are thinking, there is no way I am doing that! The days of building, installing, testing are just too much. However, a hypervisor-based replication solution, like Zerto Virtual Replication, can be installed in 30 minutes.

Finally, you are probably reading this because you might get hit with a hurricane, but did you know that most data center service interruptions are caused by hardware failures, software upgrades and power outages (not related to weather)?