Downtime is a part of doing business and some downtime should be factored into any compute environment. Planned downtime is much easier to prepare for because you’ll often be notified will in advance of that planned downtime. Check your provider’s Service Level Agreement to better understand their Planned Service Outage policies so you know how much notice they are required to give for any scheduled maintenance.
It’s always a good practice to have Disaster Recovery Plan in place when you first initiate your environment. Some factors to consider include:
A well-documented Disaster Recovery Plan that is easily accessible to all relative parties will greatly reduce adverse impact on your business during planned downtime. In this case, when your provider notifies you of a planned outage, you will be able to schedule your Disaster Recovery Plan for the appropriate time.
Unplanned downtime is significantly more difficult to prepare for due to the basic fact that it’s unplanned. As a result, you will not have the luxury of time to implement your disaster recovery plan. In order to best protect yourself against Unplanned Downtime, you’ll need to implement a real time Disaster Recovery Plan where your entire environment is replicated in a remote data center and can automatically be accessed during the unplanned downtime. Factors to consider in this example include:
The biggest mistake an organization makes when preparing for planned downtime is not keeping their contact lists up to date. Your provider will have a list of contacts that are to be notified when any outage is planned. In the tumultuous world of tech, there is often high turnover and organizations fail to keep records with providers up to date. If a notification goes out to your organization and the contact info the provider has is not up to date, you may never know about the planned downtime. This will result in UNPLANNED downtime.
The biggest mistake organizations make when preparing for unplanned downtime is NOT having a plan. Too often, an organization will exhibit a certain amount of hubris because they’ve never had an outage; or they’ve researched the costs of replicating their entire environment and have decided that the cost is greater than the risk, only to learn that they misjudged their tolerance for downtime and have lost significant revenue due to the unplanned downtime.
Business Continuity: It’s not just an industry term. It’s about ensuring your applications work for the people that rely on them. It’s about meeting expectations that you’ve worked tirelessly to set. It’s about protecting your reputation from the inevitable.