Lessons in Geographic Diversity

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is a rigorous approach to ensuring your business can continue to operate in the event of an unplanned outage. Despite all the attention to BCP, the lesson of Geographic Diversity continues to be a lesson learned but a lesson not remembered.

A transformer explosion at hosting company, The Planet in Houston,  on May 31, 2008 forced the company to take the entire facility offline until tests could be completed to allow the generators to supply power. This meant 9,000 servers were without power.

It simply is no longer sufficient to utilize a single location for your operations even if you have made that single location highly available.

If you can remember only one lesson in Geographic Diversity, remember to diversify your DNS at another location.

Attention to business resumption would lead you to conclude you need to do more than just provide for DNS diversity. Colorado is uniquely positioned to provide data centers that are geographically diverse from most locations in North America. While the debate continues about the required separation between data centers, consider there are 9,000 servers without power at a Houston data center. If some of them had geographic diversity even a few miles away, those businesses could have resumed their operations.

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