Sunday, June 26, 2011

The case for the cloud in Florida - Part 1: Email

Many of us know the hazards living and working in our state can pose.  If you've ever watched the radar while a hurricane approaches, you can't help but feel a little anxious about the potential it brings with it.  With hurricane season upon us, many of us are reviewing our hurricane plan as we find ourselves doing every year.  As business owners we have to do the same thing with our businesses.  At the top of your plan should be your information.  If you woke up tomorrow, went to work and all (and I mean ALL) of you data was gone, what would you do?  How would your business be able to function?  Most people would tell you that they'd be out of business if that were the case.

Given the seriousness of an extended outage there are offerings out there you desperately need to consider, if you haven't already.  Let's start with moving your mail server out of your office.  Most small businesses (and most large ones) use Microsoft Exchange to enable email communications and rely heavily on that resources availability to facilitate email communication.  If your email server is half submerged in water, not only is it not available, but your data is likely only salvageable by employing a costly forensic data recovery service.  If your email servers in the cloud consisting of tier-1 connected data centers with multiple redundant power and cooling systems being hosted on enterprise SANs (Storage Area Network - high performance redundant disk storage) and backed up across multiple data centers at a cost of ownership that is a fraction of an on site solution, then you might feel a little more comfortable about that giant Frisbee spinning across the radar screen.  Worrying about your family during a state of emergency is obviously your number one priority, you shouldn't have to worry about your families future at the same time by worrying about your businesses critical data.

However, email is just one facet of your business data, many more exist.  Check back next week when we'll talk about business continuity (aka backup and disaster recovery).

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