In August 2020, California’s energy utilities began implementing several days of rolling blackouts across the state. As the New York Times reported, this practice has become more common in recent years in California: The state’s largest energy company, for example, cut power to millions of customers—some for several days—in 2019.
There’s also an important consequence of these rolling blackouts for businesses. It should serve as a wake-up call for IT professionals responsible for their company’s data backup, accessibility, and DR plan. Companies whose data centers are located only in California—or located in any single geographic region—have a big vulnerability in their disaster recovery infrastructure. Here’s why.
Your DR plan must take into account network connectivity—at the data center
In the event of a data disaster at a business’s primary location (data corruption, accidental deletion, office flood, ransomware attack), the IT team will need to access the business’s mission-critical data from whatever backup or DR infrastructure they’ve put into place.
If the business keeps all of its data and systems backed up onsite, and the disaster happens to be a power outage at company headquarters, the DR solution obviously won’t do much good. This is why many organizations have turned to cloud-based data providers for their backup and DR needs, rather than building and equipping another data backup location themselves.
Turning to a DRaaS provider for this makes sense. But most DRaaS vendors maintain a given customer’s data at only one offsite location. Even among the few providers that use more than a single data center, only a few of this already-small subset will create a backup or DR environment for their customer data across different geographic regions.
This brings us back to California’s rolling blackouts. If your company’s DR provider were backing up your data in data centers only in California, and those centers were forced to go without power for hours or days, your company would in effect be without disaster recovery capability during that time.
Reliable network connectivity requires geo-redundancy
Given how far-reaching California’s rolling power outages were—covering the entire state and affecting millions of residential and business customers—it’s clear you don’t want to limit your cloud-based DR environment to any one geographic location.
This means that in addition to the other factors your DR plan must take into account, such as RTOs and RPOs, you also need to consider the network connectivity of your data centers themselves. If one data center in your DR environment goes offline for any reason, you want to know you can immediately begin recovering and accessing mission-critical data from another center—preferably one far away from the problem the first one is facing.
Work with a DRaaS partner that offers true geo-redundancy
OffsiteDataSync backs up your data and makes it immediately accessible at multiple data centers—in multiple geographically distinct regions—at all times. Unlike most DRaaS providers, we can give you the true peace of mind that can come only from knowing you’ll always have quick access to your mission-critical data, applications, and systems in the event of a disaster—even if one backup center is itself experiencing that same disaster.
Learn more about how to set up an effective disaster-recovery strategy, download the eBook OffsiteDataSync developed in partnership with Veeam: