March 20, 2023

Relying on high availability servers can be a risky business

Relying on High Availability servers can be risky business  

In the current climate of tightened wallets and increasing competition, no business can afford for its servers and applications to go down. Planned and unplanned outage can lead to loss of business and revenue as well as a reputation damaged beyond repair. To counter this risk many businesses are investing in technologies such as virtualisation to create a “high availability” architecture in an attempt to keep their office-based systems up and running all the time.

The risk of fireWhile such methods provide a robust solution to the risks that take place within an office environment they do nothing to protect a business when it comes to major disasters such as fire or flood. While the risk of disasters, natural or otherwise seem unlikely; they do happen and ignoring the risk leaves a significant gap in business protection. An example occurred just last month when a multi-tenanted office block in Watford went up in smoke.

The fire is thought to have been triggered within an electrical riser on the fourth floor. But the fire tore through the building damaging everything in its path. Affecting not just the fabric of the building, such fires can potentially damage everything in their wakes; destroying servers, computers and obviously all the data they hold. In this case no-one was hurt, but even without the loss of life, the loss to businesses in such events can be huge. Typically with all remaining electrical systems down and no access to any of the computers, servers or data backed up onsite, such cases highlight the need to have a watertight Disaster Recovery plan that provide access to business information and systems if the office based computer systems are compromised or destroyed.  

These and other events that prevent office access should all be accounted for within an effective Disaster Recovery plan. In such instances “high availability” technologies that guard against hardware issues fail entirely to protect the business leaving employees with no way to continue working when disaster strikes. This is particularly critical for data-driven industries such as the financial services whose competitive advantage is based on real-time information. In such instances, having a strategy isn’t just important, it can save a business that’s taken years to build.

DR solutions need to plan for housing employees in alternate premises like serviced offices as well as some way to access or resurrect systems in those alternate premises. A more cost-effective and productive strategy might be to consider a disaster recovery solution that enables employees to access a duplicate of their IT Network run from hosted servers running in a data centre.

With employees working from laptops at home or alternate premises, business disruption is minimised as there is no wait for systems to be rebuilt onto new hardware for work to resume. Instead, servers running business applications with up-to-date data can be ready within two hours of a disaster, made available with a little planning to any internet ready location. By maintaining productivity from the data centre, it also removes the need to purchase new servers at a moment’s notice at a premium. Rather, a measured approach can be taken to planning equipment purchases in advance of a return to the production environment.


DATAFORT provides dependable and secure data protection services that offer enterprise-level functionality with a focus on security and reliability. Its software and services are used by thousands of organisations worldwide, ranging from SMBs through to large enterprises and local government departments. Every hour of every day someone, somewhere backs up with DATAFORT. The company was founded in 2000, is headquartered in Guildford, UK and has offices in London and New York. For further information please visit or call 0800 45 44 35.Guildford, UK and has offices in London and New York.

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Nabeel Qureshi
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