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Building resilience into your data, apps, and business

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Dave Krenik
Dave Krenik

When life throws you a curve ball, how well will you handle it? Let’s face it, good stuff—and bad stuff—happens to all of us. What distinguishes us among our fellow humans is, in large part, how each of us responds to the good and bad stuff that transpires in our lives. As the philosopher Alain de Botton put it, “A good half of the art of living is resilience.” When life does catch you by surprise, how well will you recover? How quickly will you adjust course? The answers to questions like these indicate the level of one’s resilience.

Cultivate a mindset of resilience

I’m proud to say that the community I live in showed an overwhelming degree of resilience during (and after) the Marshall Fire that destroyed more than 1,000 homes, and damaged more than a hundred others, this past December. Neither evacuation orders, nor lack of heat (in the midst of winter), nor lack of potable water could stop thousands of tireless people from helping those who were (much) less fortunate. There are few things that make me prouder than to be a part of the Superior and Louisville, Colorado, communities.

“Unfortunately, the way many IT organizations … deal with these resiliency issues can resemble a technological game of whack-a-mole.”

—McKinsey, Four ways to improve technology service resiliency, 2020

In tech, “resilience” tends to be used synonymously with “availability” and “reliability,” but they really mean different things. McKinsey defines them as follows:

  • Availability: time period when the service is available to customers (system uptime)
  • Reliability: probability that a system will work as designed
  • Resilience: ability of the IT system to withstand certain types of failures and yet remain functional from the customer perspective

A single, unified strategy

Outages and crashes still happen to companies that have invested heavily in redundant systems, hot standbys, disaster recovery systems, and the like. So, what’s going on? Their investments were a reactive response rather than strategic emergency planning. The tactical fixes that addressed one emergency probably won’t work for the next one. They fix one issue, but another pops up somewhere else—Whac-A-Mole.

According to IDC (“IT Infrastructure for Storage and Data Management Survey,” 3Q21), “A single, unified, multicloud data management strategy is a must for business resiliency.” Further: “Business resiliency ultimately drives the requirement for a common data management strategy, and conversely a common data management strategy drives sound business resiliency.” Why? My take is that the attributes that make cloud a game changer (agility, time to market, and so on) apply to resilience planning (especially agility).

Take action

As I’ve previously posted, NetApp® makes incorporating a multicloud strategy into your resilience plan simple. NetApp also enables you to use existing on-premises skillsets in the cloud—helping to bridge the IT skills gap.

When you’re ready to up your resilience game, be sure to check out how NetApp has helped others with their Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft SQL Server environments. When your “not-so-good” day eventually comes, how resilient will you be?

Dave Krenik

Dave has been bringing solutions to market under various monikers (alliances, business development, solution marketing) for more than 15 years. Before entering the world of tech, he enjoyed a 15-year stint in the wine business.

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