What Air Force One can teach us about DR strategy

The President of the United States of America and Air Force One

The President of the United States of America and Air Force One

 

When the President of the United States needs to travel, there is no better or more secure way than on-board Air Force One. Designed to be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of America’s global influence, the 4,000 square feet of floor space could easily be mistaken for a hotel or executive office. On board you will find private living quarters, a dining room, on-board gym, a conference room and a large office space all with handcrafted furniture.

With all of the luxury it would be easy to forget that Air Force One is much more than a hotel in the sky. Being the President of the United States is a high risk role and as such Air Force One is built to act as a mobile fortress and fully functioning office in the sky. The electronics use 238 miles of wiring (twice that of a normal 747) and are protected by heavy shielding which allows them to withstand an electromagnetic pulse associated with a nuclear blast.

Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ray Lloyd

Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ray Lloyd

Despite all of these measures in place, a lesser known fact about Air Force One is that there is a backup plan in the form of an identical twin that is fully prepared to step in, should the primary aircraft be unavailable allowing POTUS to focus on his number one job: ensuring the United States of America continues to operate as a global leader. In the modern business world we do not need to worry about heat-seeking missiles however there are a number of other threats towards the data we rely upon to keep operating as usual. These threats may be natural disasters such as tornadoes or earthquakes, human processing errors which destroy data or hardware failures on your primary data storage servers. As a consequence many organisations operate a standby IBM i with identical data to ensure that, like POTUS and Air Force 1, you are able to fulfil your duties from either system.

Photo: Air Force One and the support plane on the tarmac (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Photo: Air Force One and the support plane on the tarmac
(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

At Maxava we understand that, despite all the measures in place to protect primary data servers, we all exist in a highly volatile world. Because of this we offer our customers a sophisticated disaster recovery option that goes far beyond simply storing copies of their data. Maxava products facilitate the real-time replication of data, objects and IFS between ASPs and LPARs on either single or multiple IBM i environments as required. Our premium product Enterprise+ goes further again enabling remote monitoring, management and the ability to perform a failover to your backup servers from a mobile device meaning that, like POTUS you are able to rapidly respond to threats against your organization from anywhere in the world.

When a natural disaster strikes, your priorities and those of your staff, can shift dramatically. Questions such as ‘is my family safe?’ or ‘where are we going to sleep tonight?’ become significant problems to overcome and at this point it is too late to consider whether your data is secure. Maxava’s product range is much more than an insurance policy to protect your business operations in the event of a disaster. It is designed to operate as a guardian for your business, allowing you to focus on the important questions in a disaster, safe in the knowledge that your data is safe – and that you have the ability to initiate your DR strategy anywhere, from your hand-held device.

Air Force One flies over Mount Rushmore

Air Force One flies over Mount Rushmore

The United States of America invests $181,000 USD every hour that Air Force One is in operation. Those in power understand the importance of protecting their key assets, and more importantly, the cost associated with losing them. The take home lesson for businesses is that no matter how big and influential you are, and regardless of the excellent staff you may have working for you or the operational procedures you put in place to prevent disaster, you always need a backup plan.

With that in mind take a moment to consider the threats facing your business and ask yourself, should a disaster strike are we cleared for take-off? If you are unsure about your answer, Maxava provides a FREE Disaster Recovery guide which can be found here that will help you and your team create a robust plan should even the worst case scenario impact your business.

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