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Lessons from Apollo 11


The anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing last weekend reminds me of the revelation some years back that NASA either lost or degaussed the original slow-scan videotapes of that “giant leap for mankind.” A giant oops. Back then, NASA regularly degaussed videotapes because they were expensive, and somehow in all the excitement, no one thought to set aside the record of that historic moment. The embarrassment set off a worldwide hunt for backup tapes, and NASA ended up paying for an expensive restoration from both broadcast TV and kinescope (made by pointing a camera at a TV monitor) footage.

NASA was lucky: they didn’t need those tapes to maintain operations. I expect that some of you are thinking of your own “giant oops” moment, and I welcome you sharing those stories to help us all learn how to prevent them from happening again.

For most of you, disaster recovery means getting applications back online as soon as possible after an incident. You know that delays and losses from inadequate disaster recovery plans can cost you customers, expose you to litigation, put you out of business, or, in the case of the missing Apollo tapes, inspire rampant speculation among conspiracy theorists. That’s beyond the scope of simple backup and restore.

Yet I’m surprised at how many small to mid-sized companies still consider it standard practice to rely solely on single copies of tapes or online backup services for disaster recovery. Such data is frozen, stashed where you can’t periodically test it to make sure it’s still viable. If an incident occurs, it can take days or even weeks to retrieve and restore backups, whether it’s taped or online, presuming that the data is OK.

The good news is: you’re not limited to backup and restore in your quest for affordable, effective disaster recovery. Quorum offers turnkey disaster recovery solutions priced for the mid-sized market’s IT budget. (I know, you’re saying, “What budget?”) Our disaster recovery solution leverages virtualization to provide not one, but two live and active virtualized copies of your critical applications and data, right where you can get at them, any time. Every day we test them for you and tell you whether they’re good to go. If there’s an incident, our customers can have their applications and data back online within minutes.

It’s a giant leap forward in disaster recovery.


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