With the recent threat of Hurricane Irene, I thought that this would be a good time to revisit some of the ways you can prepare for weather related incidents.
Rain: There is very little you can do to control maintenance of a building, assuming you do not own it. The smallest amount of water can cause damage to your technology. I once had a client call me to see how he could prepare for an upcoming storm, and I suggested that he create a backup and shut down his network for the weekend. We tested his UPS (uninterruptible power supply) unit and realized that the batteries were inoperable. Make sure you test your UPS unit annually.
Flooding: The only way to prepare for a flood would be to make sure that you have a backup. One thing to remember is that your third-party backup center should be located in a different part of the country than where you are.
Power Outages: A UPS (uninterruptible power supply) unit is essential, but that only lasts so long. If you get many of your products from a third party provider, you would then be able to find a place that has power and WIFI and work from there. That is my goal when advising clients and anything you can do to get to that point will lead to minimal long term problems.
An accounting firm I work with did just that. Their tax product is online and access to network was not critical. When their power went out, they were able to work from home on tax returns. So separating critical from non-critical information is a good first step when preparing for possible outages.
As you may already know, I am a big proponent for cloud computing. It is still in early stages, but a good solution that you should look into.
Turning Your System Back On: If you were prepared correctly, the only thing that you would need to do now is turn your system back on. But there are certain things you need to remember when doing so.
- Make sure more than one person has keys to the server room and that they are readily available and easy to locate.
- Make sure you have the administrative password handy
- If the server itself requires a key, make sure you always know exactly where it is.
RIA Independence Co.