A small city
with two servers also stored many paper documents containing critical
information. The city backed up its servers with tape-based data backup which a
city employee would take home every week or so to store “offsite” at their
house. Many of the paper documents were not replicated electronically, and so
these paper documents were the only versions in existence.
One night, a
fire began that destroyed nearly all the building before firefighters arrived
at the blaze. Fire alarms went off but no fire suppression occurred until the
fire department showed up.
the damage the next morning, the city discovered that its paper documents and
servers were completely destroyed. With the paper a total loss, the city decided
to recover the server data from the tape backups. However, after a two-day
attempt at trying to restore the data, the city could only retrieve about 10%
of it. Many of the tape backups hadn’t been tested and the city didn’t realize
that the backups weren’t running properly for a long time.
As a result,
operations ground to a halt and the city found itself in dire trouble. They
lost their accounting and billing systems along with many public records and
documents. So many critical operational records were lost related to
accounting, taxpayers, and businesses. The public outcry had only yet to begin
after the admission of data lost—and why the city had not properly backed that
A fire can
happen to any city at any time. Is your city prepared? For such a common
disaster, we find that many cities do not have disaster recovery plans that
account for a simple yet deadly fire.
at the errors in the story above.
electronic information age, relying only on paper for important documents is way
too risky. A simple fire can wipe out paper in a matter of minutes. Paper also
fails in a flood, tornado, or other natural disaster. Any paper-based documents
that are critical to your city need to be scanned electronically and backed up
offsite to ensure they are not lost.
Relying on a
city employee to take tapes offsite every week to their house is not a sure-fire
plan. First, these tapes were not tested on a regular basis. When the city
actually needed to restore data, most of the tapes failed. Second, too many
security and liability risks exist when a city relies on an employee to
manually collect backup tapes and store them in a private home. What happens if
the employee is negligent or disgruntled? What if they forget one week to take
the backups home?
that stores servers needs best-of-breed fire suppression. Fire alarms alone are
inadequate. Most data centers feature fire suppression technology that helps
eliminate or reduce the severity of a fire. If your city decides to host its
own servers, then you need to explore fire suppression options beyond an alarm.
clearly did not think through the consequences of a disaster. Otherwise, it
would have identified critical information—such as its paper documents—and planned
for a worst-case scenario such as a fire. This plan would include:
disasters like tornados can seem more improbable and less likely, cities need
to keep in mind that disasters also include more common scenarios like fires. A
fire can wipe out critical information quickly. Your disaster recovery plan
needs to account for both paper-based and electronic information—ensuring that
you can recover your most critical information soon after a fire or other
about your city’s ability to protect and recover your most important
information after a fire? Reach out to us today.
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