When it Comes to Data Disasters, Don’t be Like Delta

Posted 19 August 2016 8:47 PM by Sabrinath Rao

There may be bigger data disasters than the one Delta Air Lines experienced last week when its IT system went down, but it is hard to think of that many. The outage, caused by a loss of power at the company’s Atlanta data center, forced Delta to cancel hundreds of flights and delay hundreds more. The short term financial loss will cost the company millions. The long-term damage to the company’s reputation and its customers’ loyalty to the airline could cost millions more. If you ever needed a case study on the importance of having the necessary technology in place to enact an efficient disaster recovery strategy when an outage occurs, this is it.

Yet, this outage (and previous, smaller outages such as those experienced by Southwest Airlines and United Airlines) occurred despite the fact that, at least traditionally, airlines have been early and consistent adopters of technology that protects their data – whether from security breaches, natural disasters or technology mishaps. Many companies in financial services (where a trading floor outage could result in millions of dollars lost), healthcare (where an Electronic Health Record (EHR) outage could paralyze a hospital), and other industries would experience just as significant damage if their systems went down, yet are often even less prepared than the airlines if such an occurrence should happen.

It is perhaps not that surprising that so many companies are unprepared, since disaster recovery is more complex than ever. Data is everywhere now – not just the data center, but in the cloud and on endpoint devices. With so much data in so many places in so many formats, it is no wonder that enterprises are finding it difficult to implement comprehensive backup, archive and recovery systems that allow them to protect, find and quickly recover all of their data. Believe us. We do this for a living. It is not easy.

But it can be easier than it seems. For one, you are asking for trouble if you try to stitch together a hodgepodge of different solutions for different purposes and hope that it will allow you to protect all your data, recover it fast, and see and search it. Only a single unified, automated data protection platform that protects, archives and recovers ALL of your data will provide you with the ability to deal with catastrophic data disasters like that experienced by Delta.

But just as important as having the technology is having the right plan. When news like the Delta outage hits our newsfeed, it’s a clear reminder to us that even when companies have deployed the right (or at least some) technology to prepare for a disaster, they need a smart data backup and recovery strategy if they are going to solve the problem quickly. If your team does not know what to do in the event of a disaster, they won’t do it, and millions of dollars, hard-won corporate reputations and precious customer loyalty can be lost in minutes.

Of course, we could go on and on about how to best avoid (and recover from) a data disaster. As mentioned before, it is what we do. So if you would like to learn more on how Commvault enables you to implement a smart and efficient backup, recovery and archive strategy, give us a call at +1 888-746-3849, send us an email, or join us in Orlando, Fla. at Commvault GO, Oct. 3-5 and hear why leading companies around the world trust Commvault with their data. We look forward to hearing from you, and helping you avoid the fate of Delta.