back to article Fire, flood and vomit: Defeating the Great White Whale of Fail

I've met a lot of IT people over the years who have a problem comprehending what Business Continuity (BC) actually is. On one hand this is fairly understandable, since to the average IT person “continuity” means making their systems robust and resilient so they can live with a power cut or the loss of one of their sites. Real …

  1. Little Mouse

    Nice article, although I can't say I agree with the idea of "encouraging" sick people to continue working whilst at home. If you're going to be sick, do it properly. Put your feet up and get better quickly, rather than soldier on and drag it out.

    That said, every office I've worked in has at least one sickness martyr who thinks they're doing the business a huge favour by coming in even when they clearly should have stayed at home, merrily spraying their infectious droplets over all and sundry, completely oblivious to the Paddington-Bear stares they get from their soon-to-be-infected colleagues.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Whatever happened to DR services? Instead of having spare premises of your own you paid an annual contract to a company that had such premises to be used by their customers as required. The last few places I worked were warehousing & manufacturing so that sort of thing wasn't really feasible. But for offices it ought to be cheaper than having your own DR suite. Plus the service company should be experts in setting up the premises for a customer so that takes some of the load off the BC team.

      For the warehouse business & for previous jobs we had DR contracts for IT which entitled us to annual tests. The first test, & maybe the second, can teach a lot about how your backups are organised (i.e. if the system backup tapes had been organised better we could have started the database recovery much sooner).

      1. Little Mouse

        "Whatever happened to DR services?"

        I suspect that they may have fallen out of favour a tad following some bad publicity some years back.

        Back in the day they'd typically rent out the same bit of office space to more than one company. That's fine if your disaster is a localised issue and no-one else needs their services at the same time as you, but if lots of companies suffer a disaster simultaneously, as happened in the City a few years ago, paying customers get left high and dry.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > That said, every office I've worked in has at least one sickness martyr who thinks they're doing the business a huge favour by coming in even when they clearly should have stayed at home

      Where I work (hence posting as AC), we don't get sick pay other than SSP - so a couple of days off with quick cold don't get paid. I have pointed out to management that this is a counterproductive policy (since it encourages people to be present when they really shouldn't be) - but that's fallen on deaf ears.

      Mind you, I think almost everything in the article would be news to said management !

  2. GlenP Silver badge

    Our management team did a full BC risk assessment and started to develop the processes in accordance with the priorities. No question the scariest thing was loss of personnel, and not the senior ones either.

    Then the Board decided to get involved and so much time was wasted on questions like, "What if the MD is kidnapped?" or "What if a plane crashes in to the building?" that all the actual likely risks (power outages, illness and the like) largely got ignored.

    From an IT perspective we do have an off-site semi-DR set up, in that they can bring a copy of our servers back online in a data centre within a short time and reconfigure the remote sites and provide Internet access. Not perfect but would keep us working. That's in addition to the on site redundancy, failover on VMs, etc.


  3. Fungus Bob

    Where's the vomit?!

    The title promised vomit! I wanna see puke all over the server room floor!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where's the vomit?!

      No you don't.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Good stuff...

    And make sure your problem Is not a Sony!

  5. Corinne

    "You wouldn't test a new IT system before putting it live, would you?"

    Erm I think that may be the wrong way round, i.e. "you wouldn't put a new IT system live before testing it"?

    Otherwise all good common sense stuff - which I see far too infrequently!

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