On March 11, 2011, a massive 9.0 earthquake hit the islands of Japan, plunging many parts of the country into darkness and chaos. Lives were lost, property was damaged and for many businesses, day-to-day operations became impossible to continue, based both on the physical damage to their buildings and a lack of access to power and the Internet. While the Japanese earthquake is a testament to the need for quick and efficient response from emergency systems in order to first and foremost safeguard life, it is also an important lesson for businesses about the potential and random destruction that can be visited upon their data at any time.
For those companies in Japan operating with only physical servers to secure and store their data, serious damage to their storage center could mean the loss of tens of thousands of dollars worth of information. If no backup to this information existed, it is possible that these companies could be left with nothing. Companies that are using virtual or cloud services – all or in part – should be able to recover most if not all of their data once they can re-establish a connection to their network. Even if they are forced to set up operations in another country, a robust cloud provider will be able to grant them access to their data as though they had never left.
While virtual servers and the cloud are not end-all solutions and do not negate the need for hard drive or physical copies, this type of non-physical locating of data means that companies faced with the prospect of serious natural disasters can breathe a great deal easier knowing that the cloud will keep their data safe.