When the clouds become physical again-

The data center, one of France’s leading hosting companies, has just been destroyed by a fire, but the news reminds us that the choice to put data in the cloud is not an absolute guarantee of protection. I will.

3.6 million websites went down, over 460,000 domain names were no longer accessible, and millions of email boxes were unavailable. These are the direct consequences of a fire that destroyed a data center in eastern France a few days ago. The cause of the fire was probably an accidental fire in electrical equipment.

Definitive loss of data

However, for some customers, the consequences are far more serious than losing access to a domain name for hours or days. In fact, if you did not subscribe to the backup option and the data was hosted on a smoked server, these data will be lost forever. Today, these customers can only cry about their losses, and for some, the entire business is under serious threat.

Illusion of protection

“My data is in the cloud and nothing can happen.” This is essentially what most people tend to believe. The cloud is virtual and can therefore easily be associated with the notion that it cannot be destroyed. However, this ignores the fact that the data is hosted on a physical server, whether it is accessed through the cloud or using a virtual machine that is only part of a shared physical server.

When a server fails or is destroyed, the virtual concept suddenly becomes physical and concrete. The cloud is not virtual. It can definitely fail and the entire company can be at risk.

A fire that broke out a few days ago is no exception. And that’s not the only type of incident that can affect your data center. Floods or cyber incidents are two other examples of threats that can have the same dramatic consequences for business data and operations.

Alternative proposal

The cloud does not exempt you from preparing and creating backup plans. It is often too late for you to notice this. Some customers affected by the fire last week have experienced this badly.

A few years ago, leading companies regularly backed up their data to physical media (tapes, hard drives). This principle hasn’t changed, but today’s data is much larger and needs immediate access through a connected, highly available and secure infrastructure. Just because you’re in the cloud doesn’t mean you don’t need physical protection. on the contrary. As the current event shows, being in the cloud requires a solid disaster recovery plan that can be activated without delay in the event of an incident.

Several points are important in developing an effective emergency response plan in the event of a problem.

First of all, a four-pillar-based method: Business Impact Analysis or BIA (Which processes are most important to your company and what are the business implications if these processes deteriorate?). Risk assessment (which threats are most likely to harm the company); business continuity strategies and plans (when work environment, technology tools, partners, and / or employees are unavailable). And a test program (make sure the plan works and everyone knows their role).

Second, the recovery plan needs to respect two main principles. First, planning should not be limited to restoring server, on-premises, or cloud environments. It should be applied to the entire hybrid infrastructure, and the company’s applications should also be taken into account. Also, your backup plan should focus on having backup resources that you can start right away and activate at any time, rather than focusing on solving problems. For this reason, these resources need to be physically separated from the company, but connected to the infrastructure.

After all, the “clouds” we know are as real as the clouds in the sky. It’s constantly changing and impossible to identify, but it’s as real and important to the IT ecosystem as the formation of cumulonimbus clouds. horizon.

When the clouds become physical again-

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