A few days ago, data centers from the largest hosting provider in Europe caught fire. This unprecedented disaster rendered multiple data centers unserviceable, which impacted websites and cloud storage for businesses around the world.
Note: No staff members were harmed. Read more about this data center fire here!
For several companies, the incident led to a total data loss without any means of recovery. Many of them assumed that since their data was in the cloud, it was backed up and safe. This is not always the case.
We wanted to take this opportunity to provide insight into how the cloud works and why you cannot only rely on this software alone to keep your data safe and secure.
There are three primary ways to classify data storage: redundant, backed-up, and secure.
Redundant data storage provides a fail-safe against hard drive failure in real-time. If a hard drive fails, another can kick in to eliminate downtime, which can be bad for business. However, redundancy only protects against drive failure.
But there are several other ways to lose data, such as accidental deletion, file corruption, malware, theft, damage, bugs, and more. Backed-up data is stored in a separate storage medium, so this “lost data” would be intact via the back-up.
Secure data means there are tools and technologies in place to protect your data from unauthorized access, corruption, or theft.
Therefore, your data could be secure but not backed-up, redundant but not secure, and so on.
This news story about the data center fire in France is a cautionary tale for your business. When your data is “in the cloud,” it is actually stored in one of these data centers, and you can access all of your information over the internet. But the cloud is not invincible.
No matter where your data is, be sure it is being backed up frequently, either by you or the cloud provider. It’s a simple way to prevent something like an unexpected incident, like the data center fire, from doing irreversible damage to your data and your business.
Some of the companies who stored their data in these centers were prepared, so as soon as they were alerted of the incident, they were ready to respond.
They had a disaster recovery plan in place to ensure they were back up and running in the least amount of time possible. Since accidents can happen, this is another best practice to ensure the accident is only a minor bump in the road.
This provides an excellent opportunity for you to consider your backup and disaster recovery plan for your business. Do you have one, and is it where you would like it to be?