Beyond Typhoon Haiyan, effective DR is an ongoing process: APC

The damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has once again underscored the importance of effective disaster recovery (DR).

In situations such as this, APC by Schneider Electric Asia Pacific and Japan president, Philippe Arsonneau, said there are increased conversations with customers about the effectiveness of DR.

“We typically work with them to select failover sites, and this is with the full lifecycle from a design point of view,” he said.

“It is important to have a robust plan in terms of DR in the datacentre, with DR sites located away from the main datacentre.”

While the widespread damage in the Philippines is making headlines worldwide, Arsonneau has not yet seen a significant shift in the DR mindset by businesses in Asia Pacific.

“For these organisations, it is clearly a key strategy for them to have a strong DR process and plan by having some DR sites for each of their major datacentres, regardless of what is happening in the Philippines,” he said.

“It is something they are continually working on and not a reaction to what has taken place recently.”

However, Arsonneau admits the situation in the Philippines reinforces the DR message.

“This is a strategy that the datacentre sector, as well as IT world, is well aware of,” he said.

In the meantime, Arsonneau said APC will continue to support a strong DR message in terms of selecting the right sites, coming up with the right design and support, making sure that the datacentre has some remote connection systems.

Local focus remains

Typhoon Haiyan is not the only major natural disaster to strike Asia-Pacific, with an earthquake in Japan in 2011 and flooding in Thailand in 2012.

Even Australia was a victim of flooding in 2011 in the Queensland region.

Despite these events, Arsonneau said businesses are still showing a reluctance to store their data off-shore.

“What we’re seeing more countries putting in new regulation that if anyone wants to do some business around data, like banks or Cloud providers, they have to physically store it in the country,” he said.

Arsonneau adds that regulation such as this is only moving organisations away from the concept of having a DR site located outside of the country.

“If this local regulation is put in place by authorities, that means that the DR site has to also be physically located in the country itself in order for the company to do business around the data,” he said.

While the selection of the DR sites by a business may vary, Arsonneau said it will still be within the same country.