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August 27, 2010
Virtual PBX Provider Nextiva Is Well-Protected Against Storm Damage but What Should Other Data Centers Do?
By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor
 

Some companies, such as Nextiva, have planned ahead in order to protect against the damage from crippling storms, such as the current hurricane heading for the Atlantic coastline.

That’s because Nextiva’s primary datacenters are located in Phoenix, Arizona . An Arizona location means Nextiva is not as prone to hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes as other states, the company explains.

In addition, Nextiva is located in one of Arizona’s largest datacenters—315,000 square feet. With a strong background in datacenter operations, Nextiva is familiar with what it takes to keep a carrier-grade datacenter operational. Terms such as cooled/raised flooring, redundant power, diverse network connectivity and top-of-the-line monitoring are concepts they are extremely familiar with. Their datacenters are monitored around the clock —and access is only permitted to a limited number of authorized people.

Nextiva also has redundant datacenter facilities in Los Angeles and New York City.

But for organizations not as careful and thoughtful as Nextiva, if data centers are located in regions prone to natural disasters, there are steps that can be taken to minimize damage, according to Neverfail – a software provider that protects companies against the impact of IT outages.

Based on what has been learned from Gulf Coast businesses – which have experienced many storms – Neverfail lists five business continuity strategies to ensure continuous uptime for mission-critical applications during hurricane season and other damaging times:

Plan for zero downtime. Make sure your disaster recovery solution provides for little to no downtime. This is especially true for organizations in fields such as government and healthcare, where any downtime can cost lives.

Know your organization. Make sure your solution is appropriate for your organization.

Make sure IT is available to everyone, everywhere – even those who are now mobile.

 Ensure continuous availability for your business-critical applications. Organizations that are national or global in size need to keep doing business, even in a disaster. After a disaster strikes, some of your employees will be mobile but regardless of where they are located or what applications they are using, they need to have continuous availability to critical applications, such as e-mail and business systems. Make sure your disaster recovery solution covers all the applications that your team needs continuous access to for business critical decisions, not just e-mail.

Test. Like a fire drill, test your disaster recovery plan on a regular basis.

“Organizations rely on their IT systems to make critical business decisions, communicate, and process transactions, so when a disaster strikes it is often catastrophic – crippling productivity, revenue and the organization’s reputation,” said Andrew Barnes, senior vice president of corporate development for Neverfail.


Ed Silverstein is a contributing editor for TMCnet's InfoTech Spotlight. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Ed Silverstein


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