Building Your Safety Net
Every company needs a disaster recovery plan, but e-businesses have some special needs to guarantee they're running around-the-clock.On September 15, four days after the World Trade Center attack in New York, Geoff de Lesseps, CEO of TheBeast, had something important to tell the world. "I am happy to report that our two most important assetsour employees and our software codeare safe, and we are open for business," he said. TheBeast develops software and platforms for real-time data distribution and online securities trading across the Web, wireless connections, and wide-area networks. On September 11, the company was relatively lucky. Although its offices were on the 80th floor, just below where the first plane hit, all 63 of the companys employees escaped the building safely. By the end of the week, most were working in an alternate facility in New Jersey.
The company, however, wasnt as fortunate in saving its data. TheBeast had a disaster recovery plan that entailed only weekly backups of software code. There was no backup plan implemented for other data resources, such as e-mail. When disaster struck, the company had to scramble. "The mandate was to back up every week," says Ashok Mittal, the companys senior vice president of corporate technology. "There was an update that was supposed to happen on Monday, but that night we were working until 3:00 A.M." The backup never happened, and as a result, the company lost about a months worth of labor on updated codenot to mention its hosting facility.