Protecting your IT Systems in Devon during Flooding and other Disruptive Events
6th January 2014
In a somewhat typical blog, today we're talking about how you can ensure your IT systems are protected against disasters. With the storms and poor weather having considerable impact on businesses in Exeter, Devon and Somerset in particular, there's never been a better time to make sure your business has everything covered. The picture shows Exeter just before a thunderstorm arrived and caused considerable issues for some companies.
There are 2 real areas to consider - the first is looking at what you can to do to avoid disruption to your systems - eg keeping the systems operational so staff can continue to work. The second is looking at your contingency for if something goes wrong, equipment gets damaged and so on.
Keeping Things Going
Keeping your IT going can be challenging, particularly during periods of poor weather such as that being seen across Devon, Somerset and Dorset in particular at the moment. If you've got in-house IT systems, you should consider:
- Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) - this can help keep servers and systems running during short power outages, and also protects against short surges (or worse, drop outs) in voltage which is commonplace during events with poor weather. They're relatively cheap and will save you from all kinds of issues. A UPS is a big battery that can run systems for a few minutes - either enough to bypass short issues, or to have the systems shut down gracefully to avoid loss of data.
- Resilient Broadband and Connectivity - bad weather can cause all kinds of issues that can affect your Broadband and Internet Access, so if being online is critical to your business, it's a good idea to use Resilient Broadband Services such as our own Managed Resilient Bonded Broadband - you'll not only get better reliability but a better speed of internet access too.
- Cloud & Hosted Technology - by using services such as Agility Mail or Agility Desktop, you can reduce the amount of systems that rely on your office location, so if something does happen, staff can work from home or another office - which also makes it easier if there are issues reaching your office and so on. An integral part of good cloud services is ensuring they're already able to deal with failures of both systems and services but also geographic disasters too
- Location and Storage - making sure your servers aren't on the ground, ensuring you keep sensitive electrical equipment away from water pipes, and other locations where they're more likely to be damaged - putting them on tables or in a rack out of the way can be a good way to minimise any issue should the worst happen.
- Keep your Backups Off-Site - you're obviously going to have good backups right? (If not, see our Remote Backup Services and fix the risk NOW!). But please if you're not already using Off-Site/Remote Backup services, make sure you take your backups offsite and make sure you have lots of proper backups. See our recent "5 Reasons Your Backups Aren't Backups" Blog for more help on this.
Sorting Things When They Go Wrong
If the worst does happen, maybe you'll need some help getting operational again. Here are things you should have in place to make sure you can operate quickly as well as ways VPW in Exeter can help:
- Use Remote Backup Services - the number 1 thing to do. Have your data safe. It's the lifeblood of your business. Without the data, you probably don't have a business. Most so called backup solutions aren't good enough to be considered backups OR rely on you too much and when things are frantic during events, can easily result in you losing the safeguards you thought you had. It's no good hoping for the best. Our Remote Backup services take the hope and guesswork out of being protected and just make sure you're covered. Always.
- Make sure you have a way to obtain spare hardware - One option could be to use our Leasing Services so you can purchase and receive equipment quickly without needing huge capital immediately (or while waiting for insurance payout's). Another option would be to consider using our Hosted/Cloud Services either temporarily or longer term.
- Ensure you have proactive IT Support - our Committed IT Support plan is perfect for this as it can provide assistance for Critical Out of Hours Help as well as normal Office Hours, reducing your risk and speeding up the process of getting you operational again.
- Have a properly configured, professionally managed IT Service - it is much easier to simply call your IT provider and have them get you operational again (assuming they're professional, clued up specialists like our team of course) than for you to try and put things together again in a piecemeal fashion. Some IT systems are complex.
- Use your Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery Plan - if you haven't got one, speak to VPW today, our IT Support services can include helping you have a real, workable plan for disaster, considering equipment, services, data backups and restoration and much much more. Some of our customers even hold spare equipment with us at an off-site location "just in case".
Want to know more, protect your business and get professional help?
Give our team a call on 01392 950 950 - we'll help you with practical assistance. If you're already too late and disaster has struck, don't worry as we'll do everything we can to help you anyway and make sure you're protected for the future too.