Data Centers

Sharing your disaster recovery story could net you a prize

The Blackout of 2003 tested disaster recovery plans; how did yours hold up? Share your experience with the community and get in the running for a prize.

On Aug. 14, 2003, a typical hot summer afternoon in the northeastern United States, something atypical happened—a power blackout. An estimated 50 million people were inconvenienced by a sudden lack of electricity. Over the succeeding months, a cause will be determined, blame will be assigned, and after lengthy political wrangling, steps will be taken to prevent a similar occurrence. Of course, if you were a business in the area of the blackout and lost time, money, and data, all that means very little to your bottom line.

Unforeseen incidents like the Blackout of 2003 are the exact reason you developed that detailed disaster recovery plan some years ago. You did have a cohesive disaster recovery plan, didn't you? Because if you didn't, you may be feeling the effects of the blackout long after the electricity experts figure out how and why it happened.

In terms of mindset, a disaster recovery plan and electricity are coincidently similar—you often don't notice either one until they aren't there. But although electricity can usually be restored relatively quickly, the lack of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan can have a long-lasting and profound impact on operations.

Contest: The best laid plans
So how did your disaster recovery plan work? Did it perform as expected and were you able to get back to business when the power was restored? Or did you struggle to get back to normal operations even though this was a minor inconvenience, as most disasters go?

Share your experience with the community in the article discussion. Tell us what worked and what didn't. We want to know what lessons you learned so that we can take that experience and apply it to our systems.

As an incentive to tell your story (a very small incentive, to be sure), I'll send a T-shirt to the three discussion posters who provide the best learning experience for members. To make it more democratic, I'll let the discussion itself determine who gets the prizes. Winners will be determined by the number of favorable responses a post receives.

Take a minute to share you disaster recovery experience, help your member peers, and potentially earn some swag in the process. What more could you ask for? Let's hear your story.

About Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.

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