by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – INFORMATION technology and business leaders must consider the potential risks of data loss due to power outages bedeviling South Africa.
They must make disaster recovery plans to mitigate the risk of prolonged outages, especially in the event of a site failure.
This is advice of a technology executive as South African businesses bear the brunt of load shedding by embattled power utility.
Power failures and load shedding can destroy business data.
“Fortunately, companies can significantly reduce the data risks associated with power outages,” said Mike Broderick, Sithabile Technology Services’ General Manager for Regions:
He noted power outages can affect data in several ways: equipment can be damaged, on-site backups can fail, or live data can become unavailable, bringing business to a standstill.
Nonetheless, the executive said while losing data is devastating, it is an avoidable risk with disaster recovery, and even small and medium-sized businesses can manage these risks with Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS).
DRaaS is seen as cost-effective and easy to use, replicating encrypted data over the Internet or dedicated links.
Customers only pay for the capacity, compute and storage they use, which can be as low as a fifth after deduplication and compression.
There is no need of a dedicated storage device, instead using a secure storage virtual machine on a syndicated enterprise-grade storage system
“Any organisation can have an enterprise-grade disaster recovery plan if they use DRaaS,” Broderick said.
The official warned that equipment failure, infrastructure failure and cybercrime attacks such as ransomware also affect data and data access.
“But with an internet connection, a tested DR process and the support of a reputable DR partner, nobody has to have a data recovery headache again.”
According to the Uptime Institute’s 2022 Outage Analysis, 20 percent of organisations surveyed experienced a serious data outage in the last three years, resulting in financial loss, compliance violations and even deaths.
More than half of power outages resulted in damages exceeding US$100 000; power-related outages accounted for 43 percent of outages resulting in downtime and financial losses.
Broderick disclosed how a client of his company recently lost power to a number of racks due to a transformer failure.
“Fortunately, the client had a solution which initiated an automated failover to the disaster recovery site, preventing an outage with zero data loss.”
This year is proving the worst in terms of power outages in South Africa’s recent history.
A Minister of Electricity responsible for the President has been appointed, in a desperate move to fix the crisis.
– CAJ News