With the New Year, organizations are reviewing their Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans to make sure they are ready to respond to an emergency. There are many different service threats to consider including-
- Loss of Power
- Interrupted Internet Service
- Inability to Gain Physical Access to Offices
- Cyber Security Breaches
Though many disaster scenarios are easily contemplated, such as disruptions due to storms, floods and fires, we continue to be amazed at the variety of possible problems that can interrupt critical services. In many cases it seems unlikely anyone could predict these calamities.
For example, one client was forced to declare a disaster and relocate its essential staff to CAPS’ alternate workspace when a water main in the street near its office burst. Though the utility company quickly turned the water off, a worker was tragically killed when a manhole collapsed. The ensuing investigation required the water to remain off. Due to OSHA regulations, businesses in the area were denied access to their offices for several days.
In another case, a Connecticut bank was closed for almost two weeks due to a fire that devastated a building next to its branch office. Though the bank did not suffer any physical damage from the fire, it was forced to close by the Health Department for an extended period due to the extent of smoke that entered the branch. Fortunately, the bank had reserved Business Continuity workstations from CAPS. It was able to relocate its Call Center and was back in service about 4 hours after the disaster was declared.
If you Google the most common causes of power and data outages you might be surprised to learn that squirrels are frequently implicated. Here in Connecticut squirrels have caused many power and data outages. Squirrels like to chew on electrical wires and fiber optic cables. During the colder months they crawl into electrical transformers to try to keep warm. A few years ago the University of Connecticut was forced to cancel classes and send employees home when a squirrel was electrocuted and destroyed a transformer after bridging two high voltage lines. Every year thousands of customers lose power and data services in Connecticut due to squirrels.
Though many businesses plan on having their employees work from home in the case of an emergency, frequently the disruption that closed an office also impacts the employees’ ability to work from home. Power outages are often widespread. Homes rarely have redundant power that can sustain operations for more than a few hours. Typically, home based internet services are also not very resilient.
CAPS has been providing Business Continuity services from its secure data center in Shelton, CT for over 20 years. During this time our facility has never suffered an unplanned power outage even though major storms such as Hurricane Sandy, Tropical Storm Irene, and the October 2011 snowstorm resulted in widescale power outages throughout the state. Our alternate work site enables organizations to relocate essential operations to our facility, typically in a few hours, to minimize service disruptions due to disasters.
We provide both Dedicated and Shared workstations that are configured to replicate our clients’ applications and User Interfaces by deploying Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Internet bandwidth with automatic failover to a secondary provider is also included. Our skilled professionals assist our clients as they perform Business Continuity tests one or more times each year to assure their backup facilities will be available when needed.
Provisioning an alternate workspace at a secure facility such as CAPS is essential to mitigate the impact of a costly service disruption whether or not the cause of a disaster can be predicted.