Data protection and business continuity to stay out of the dark

March 21, 2019 • Features, Southern Africa

Data protection and business continuity solutions to keep you out of the dark

Hayden Sadler, Country Manager at INFINIDAT in South Africa

Load-shedding has become synonymous with day to day life in South Africa. But while it’s easy enough for a residence or small business to work around a blackout, larger enterprises face far greater – and pricier – consequences when they don’t have access to critical data.

As such, enterprises need to seek out “always on” solutions to avoid the loss of or access to data. According to the 2018 Global Server Hardware, Server OS Reliability Report, “The only good downtime is no downtime,” so businesses need to think proactively in order to not go dark at all.

Hayden Sadler, Country Manager at INFINIDAT in South Africa addressed the main concerns facing data centres when the power goes out.

The three main concerns for customers are cost, complexity, and performance.

Cost

According to Gartner, The average cost of network downtime is around $5,600 per minute. That is around $300,000 per hour. Furthermore, in a South African context, a single hour of downtime can cost a business over 1.3million rand. This is according to 98% of respondents in an Information Technology Intelligence Corp. (ITIC) survey.

At the end of the day, this is something you want to keep in check without breaking the bank. How do you know what the effect is on your own business? IT on demand explains it quite aptly with a formula in the article The Ugly Truth about Downtime Costs and How to Calculate Your Own:

Cost of Downtime (per hour) = Lost Revenue + Lost Productivity + Recovery Costs + Intangible Costs

Complexity

The best way to fight against downtime is to deploy a scalable solution that is non-disruptable or better yet, finding a zero downtime solution.

This could be something like a software-defined storage solution (SDS). Looking at an SDS could be the difference between making or breaking the relationship with a customer because an SDS isn’t reliant on the underlying physical hardware and can go a long way in protecting your data. An SDS isn’t the only solution though.

According to Sadler, three-way redundancy is required for effective, risk-free zero downtime because it enables full failover to be in place at all times, even if one system is taken offline, and eliminates risk. 

“Storage providers that offer triple redundancy not only improve risk mitigation, they are also able to guarantee 100% data availability at all times,” writes Sadler. “Even if an entire environment needs to be replaced, systems can stay online during the migration from one platform to another. Everything from software updates to maintenance to entire platform refreshes can be performed with zero downtime.”

Training is also key in terms of technicality. A lot of companies find a solution as and when required, but that leaves too much room for unnecessary risks. Finding a solution that sticks and ensuring that staff are properly trained negates the risk of human error when the power goes out and lowers the risk of data loss.

Performance

In order for a business to maximize its operation and reach its full potential, all technological tools need to be operating at peak performance. So without your servers – without the very foundation of your computer framework – you have no network and you have no business.

Hardware failure and power loss are the most common causes of servers going down. As such, in South Africa’s current electrical landscape, data holders must have adequate business continuity and disaster recovery strategies in place, whether that data is in the cloud or in legacy applications.

Businesses need to be confident in the reliability and stability of their server hardware and server OS platforms. To ensure business continuity and increase end-user productivity, it is imperative that businesses maximize the reliability and uptime of their server hardware and server operating systems.

By Daniëlle Kruger
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