How to cope with Queensland Floods and Flooded Roads

flooding business

  • How can business resume quickly after the floods?
  • How can business maintain operations with damaged buildings?
  • How can staff operate a business if the roads are flooded?

Disaster Recovery Sections

Contact Details Telephony Faxes Servers Backups Email Desktops

Contact Details

During the period of change relating to the disaster recovery people still need to be able to contact you.
Update your website with any new temporary arrangements.
Update your Google Places entry with any new temporary arrangements.

Telephony Recovery

What can you do quickly in cases where is business telephony is damaged by floods?

Divert Phone Numbers

Divert the main phone numbers to mobile phones. Adjust Mobile phone voicemail greeting to suit their new role.

Consider VOIP telephony

VOIP telephony can be hosted. Laptops can be used as softphones. This can allow you to quickly set up a phone system without a local PABX or special handsets. Staff can you their home broadband or remote broadband to operate business phone extensions. Advanced softphones allow for video conferencing, voicemail, instant messaging, shared whiteboard and sharing of files. Later on business can add VOIP handsets within the reopened business premesis. VOIP telephony can be used from multiple locations and operate as a single telephone system.

Faxes Recovery

What can you do if your fax machines are offline due to the floods?
Fax numbers can be changed into virtual fax machines. Inbound faxes are converted to email messages with attachments. This is performed by the carrier or a service provider.

Servers

What can you do if your servers are down for the short or medium term?
Virtual Servers can be set up in a day. Windows or Linux server configurations are available. The quantity of processors, memory and storage requirements can be set up in advance. Consider the network latency of Australian versus foreign Virtual Server providers.

Virtual machine servers can also be used for real time disaster recovery. Virtual Machines can be set up on 2 sites with the likes of VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager. Replication is performed between sites. Each site can run as a cluster to improve availability even further. This would create a non stop disaster recovery strategy. NBN type Internet speeds is desired for this configuration.

Backups

Where are your backups and how much effort is required to restore them?
Having backups online can help with restore processes. No requirements to have a matching tape drive for a restore process. No issues with tape drive mechanical faults, cleaning tape drives, tape rotation cycles and tape movement offsite requirements. Files can be copied to a new hosted Virtual Server almost immediately. There are procedures available to use USB external drives to move bulk information to hosted Virtual Servers. Advanced backup providers can store your data in 2 seperate countries for more security and redundancy.

Email

What can be done if you email server is down for a substational period due to its location?
  • Use an Email hosting provider.This can also included within web hosting packages.
  • Use a Microsoft Hosted Exchange Service (or eqivalent).
  • Move your email functions to Cloud Providers like Google. Users only need a browser to access email anywhere with Internet access.
  • Set up your own hosted email virtual server.
DNS records need to change to move email server functions to a new location.

Desktops

How to staff continue business operations without business desktops?

  • Use a remote dedicated server running Citrix XenApp (or equivalent) to provide virtual desktop applications. A PC or laptop is needed.
  • Move desktop functions including email to Google Apps for Business (free 30 day trial available). Only an Internet Browser required.
  • Microsoft Office 365 provides Office, Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync(collaboration) all online. A PC or laptop is needed.

Some business and collaboration functions are available for smart phones.
Continue work from home, hotels, serviced office or Internet Cafes.

Which ideas will gain you business flexibility and more flood disaster resistance into the future? What is your business downtime worth?

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Use the NBN to your advantage.