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January 09, 2008


David Buffo

Quantifying a few of Chuck's observations about the business continuity "have nots", here are some statistics from a recent Forrester report "Six Years After 9/11, Most Firms Are Not ready for Another Disaster" by Stephanie Balaouras:

-27% of enterprises do not have a recovery site in the event of a data center failure

-23% of enterprises never test their disaster recovery plans

-48% have less than 50 miles separating their production and recovery data centers

So, these concerns are pretty widespread among the North American and European customers Forrester surveyed.

Joyce Tompsett

An interesting conversation.

I used to describe the haves and have nots a little different but in the end it's the right idea. The haves as you call them, generally were mainframe guys who came to computing with project management skills, with process orientations and all of the other attitudes you mentioned.

The have nots generally grew up from the Windows, LAN and some of the Unix environments. They were oriented around small farms of computing or installations that didn't have to be robust and they were okay with what the technology provided.

I think one of the things that has happened is that the LAN/Windows guys got themselves into a bit of a corner. They built up enormous amounts of large fairly inexpensive infrastructure without building up the necessary business process around it. And one day they found themselves running enormous amounts of the business on those systems and it had gradually become as important as those apps that had always been running on mainframes.

In some ways we have fairly inexpensive redundancy built in - afterall the Internet is built on this concept. If one thing fails, there are enough other resources still going that we're all okay. On the other hand, the smart money says that doesn't work for reasons of good governance in business. And companies are beginning to realize what they've got and that they need to do something.

I think you're spot on that this is an issue of skills transfer of teaching best practices, and leveraging our years of knowledge of how to do these things right and that we don't want to get into a big services business. Most companies cannot afford the IBM/EDS consultant gigs anyhow, but they can afford working with a vendor that can help them learn how to fish if I can mix metaphors here.

The challenge isn't so much the technology (hardware works now, and software is getting there.) The challenge is in making it all work together AND in getting the business and technology bits right. In our area of email archiving we see that too - companies have relied on IT to help them with archiving but as new regulations kick in, legal wants to have more control over those functions but wants IT to provide the infrastructure to make it happen. Companies are working through how to do that right but they want to get the skills and products from us and learn themselves.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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