Bushfires force local businesses to action disaster recovery plans Bushfires force local businesses to action disaster recovery plans

Bushfires force local businesses to action disaster recovery plans

Jan 28, 2020 Tech blog

Over the course of the recent bushfire crisis six of IT Basecamp’s contract clients discovered first-hand the value of their prior forethought and preparation with regard to business continuity planning. With loss of access, loss of power, evacuations and even (and especially!) the very real threat of an approaching firefront, local businesses were pushed to the limits and the IT Basecamp tech team were kept busy enacting and supporting clients’ disaster recovery plans.

A look at some of the different scenarios that unfolded over the past four weeks gives great insight into how valuable having an IT service agreement in place can be. In each case having a relationship in place meant data was recovered and systems back online fast. A service agreement contract with IT Basecamp offers clients priority status in the helpdesk queue, discounted prices on hardware for new equipment, a reduced hourly rate for tech support and ensures your IT infrastructure is kept modern and up-to-date. Of course having access to a tech team that already knows your IT setup is invaluable in the event that you actually need support.

Scenario 1

With the fires approaching, this local business removed all their backup servers from the premise as the first step in protecting business-critical data. The servers were moved offsite and stored in a car for three days, ready for potential evacuation. Unfortunately, one of the servers, holding four terabytes of business-critical data, did not survive the less-than-ideal conditions of heat and movement in the vehicle and when returned to the office failed to restart. Happily, as part of the company’s service agreement contract, offsite backups were available and all data was restored.

Scenario 2

This client was evacuated from their work premises for a number of days and lost power indefinitely. While efforts were underway to establish temporary power, a disaster recovery plan was enacted to get staff back up and running from a remote location using the offsite backup held by IT Basecamp. A temporary disaster recovery network was created in IT Basecamp’s environment which allowed an instant restore of the client’s three servers. From this, the staff’s critical data was pushed to the cloud allowing them to work from home until the office premise became available again.

Scenario 3

This organisation was evacuated four times over the course of the South Coast bushfires. Each time required IT support removing backup drives and diverting and configuring the phone system to allow the company to continue operating. Being on an IT service contract meant the knowledge and support was in place to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Scenario 4

Being in a location that lost power for over a week made continuing business more than a little challenging for this company, even once the immediate threat of fire had passed. Setting up in a nearby town a remote office that connected staff with head office reduced the strain that lack of communication was adding to an already stressful situation.

New connections

The bushfire season was also a time for forging relationships and we connected with a new client who was happy to learn first hand of the tech team’s expertise.

This tourist-related business operated on what in its day had been a robust computer system that just ‘worked’. The downside of this is that because it always worked, it had not been kept updated and had never been modernised. In shutting down the system in preparation for evacuation, the hard drive on the main computer became corrupted. This computer operated the site’s boom gate, email account and stored all customer details, bookings and business history. In addition, large numbers of cancellations coming through from customers had to be captured to put together an insurance claim, so the company could not afford downtime.

With effort the company managed to recover the system themselves to regain operation of the boom gate and access to the business’s email account, but could not retrieve the business-critical data on the hard drive. The system required the original CD-ROM to repair. This was no longer available and because the software was so outdated there were compatibility issues with new software. The IT Basecamp tech team stepped in at this point and was able to recover the data to a new hard drive. Not as quick, seamless or stress-free as having backups to restore from, but the result was a very relieved client.

For support safeguarding your business by putting in place disaster recovery plans and business continuity procedures for your IT infrastructure, get in touch today.

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