Lessons Learned in Disaster Recovery: Planning, Preparedness & the Human Component
Our executive leadership team at Harmony Technology Services has extensive experience in restoring and rebuilding after natural disasters. The Gulf Coast endured two of the costliest hurricanes on record in the last two decades – Katrina, and then Harvey. Now the 2018 hurricane season is approaching: How is your organization preparing for the unexpected?
Back in 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed two shipyards for which we had operational technology responsibility – one in Mississippi and another in New Orleans. The storm surge scattered one of the data centers over two miles across the countryside. Katrina indiscriminately disrupted the lives of 20,000 employees and their families on the Gulf Coast. The calamitous events were unprecedented, both in scope and financial losses, and could have brought the IT team to its knees; neither the preparedness plan nor the public infrastructure had a predictive model for an event of this magnitude.
We learned that while the best data preparedness will lead to the most successful data recovery, being prepared means being ready for anything – even that which you can’t anticipate – and being agile enough to do whatever needs to be done. Ultimately, we were successful in rebuilding and recommissioning the environment in a remote location, providing connectivity and business continuity faster than anyone thought possible. Everything was up and running after two weeks.
In the white paper below, we share the lessons we learned from our IT recovery approach after Katrina.