Building disaster recovery on a solid foundation

View Article in Chamber’s Digital Eversion

Disaster recovery can be a tricky subject to master, with the cost of maintaining a proper disaster recovery plan often making companies think twice about whether they need a comprehensive plan. However, research shows that for Fortune 1000 companies, an hour of down time without disaster recovery can lead to losses of between $50,000 and $250,000.

Even though the impact may not be quite the same for most companies in the Cayman Islands, extrapolating even far smaller hourly losses to a couple of days can really add up, so spending the money on a proper disaster recovery and business continuity plan is vital.

Hurricane season is not the time to start planning for disaster recovery, as it encompasses much more than just storms, whether fire, earthquake, or even flooding of a server room due to issues on another floor of the building.

“Disaster recovery starts on a bright sunny day,” says Rick Bengle, Team Lead Corporate Accounts, LIME Cayman Islands.

LIME offers colocation space at their One Technology Square building, which has proven its worth during hurricane Ivan. It is a purpose built telecommunications centre, built to withstand a category 5 hurricane with a basic wind speed rating above 200 miles per hour. The ground floor is 10 feet above sea level, with all network critical infrastructure as well as the data centre and associated infrastructure located on the second floor, well clear of potential flood damage.

The facility is also serviced by two backup generators with enough fuel stored on site to run the generator for up to 10 days. This is supported with a redundant uninterruptable power supply system to ensure continuous service.

This is backed up by cooling and humidity control measures to protect the equipment, as well as fire suppression and extensive security to ensure the safety of the facility.

“This is one of the most advanced buildings in the entire Caribbean in terms of being able to provide disaster recovery. It is the heartbeat of the Caymanian telecommunications network and all disaster recovery really begins and ends right here,” says Mr Bengle.

“You have to ask critical questions of your supplier – what do your facilities look like, how are they hardened, are you ready for disaster. And when customers ask those hard questions, that’s when they tend to choose LIME,” he says.

During a hurricane, LIME will also have outside contractors based on site to look after cooling systems and other mission critical equipment.

Mr. Bengle also says customers looking for disaster recovery solutions should look at the investment in staff a potential service provider has.

“The investment of staff that LIME has here is something to consider. How many technicians do you have, how many people do you have supporting the network that’s built? Again when customers ask those hard questions they get very different answers from us than they might from some of our competitors.

These are things that we encourage prospective clients to ask,” he says.

As part of a regional approach to disaster recovery, LIME keeps an up to date list of available resources throughout the region, whether physical resources or human resources, so the necessary skills and equipment can be tracked down quickly and brought to bear on any disaster recovery situation.

“If Cayman gets hit I know that if I need something there is a database that says which country has it and I can get it shipped here at short notice. We have put together an extensive plan, and we do not anticipate there will be this mad rush after a hurricane that there was after Ivan to get everything in place, because a lot of that is already in place,” says Donnie Forbes, Head of Service Support & Delivery, LIME Cayman Islands.

According to Mr Bengle, LIME offers a tailored disaster recovery solution to customers depending on their particular needs and budget. With the data carrying capacity of LIME’s 4G mobile data network it is now even possible to bring MiFi devices and similar technologies into a disaster recovery plan in order to allow companies to continue to operate even when the data services at their office is down.

It is also possible to install soft client applications on smart phones like the Apple iPhone in order to allow employees to answer their office phone from their mobile, allowing business as usual even in the most unusual of circumstances. 

For information, contact Rick Bengle, Team Lead Corporate Accounts.
T:    926 3320
E:    [email protected]