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How 9/11 Has Changed the Data Center

by on September 13, 2011

Over the past 10 years, the 9/11 terrorist attacks have changed the face of America in countless ways. Among them, the shock of that devastating event has influenced the way many companies manage their data.

Here are some of the key trends in the way businesses manage and protect their data as a result:

  • Disaster recovery quickly rose to the top of the priority list following 9/11. And the DR industry continues to grow, even in an era of shrinking IT budgets. ABI Research predicted that spending on business continuity and data disaster recovery products would grow from $14.3 billion in 2009 to more than $39 billion in 2015.
  • Data center backup and redundancy has taken on a whole new meaning. No longer is a backup server in the closet across the hall considered adequate. Today, redundancy means a mirrored system with geographic separation.
  • 9/11 is credited with contributing to the modern cloud storage industry, enabling companies to store data at multiple locations to reduce vulnerability.
  • Data center design today takes into account the threat of terrorist attacks, which many companies didn’t see as a real possibility until 9/11. Today, data centers are less likely to be built in cities and more likely to have more open space and multiple levels of heightened security.
  • Companies have more data to capture and manage in order to comply with new regulations like the Patriot Act.
  • Firms have a heightened awareness of cybersecurity and are making investments to protect their data.

Clearly, a lot has changed in the data center in the last 10 years with much of it driven—at least in part—by the fact that business data is vunerable. Still, nearly half of all small to medium-sized businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan. And 30 to 40 percent of all organizations either have no DR system in place or don’t know how to use it properly.

If there’s one thing we should have learned over the last ten years is that no business, large or small, is exempt from the potential to be affected by a disaster of some kind. If you haven’t rethought your data center disaster recovery strategy lately, maybe now is a good opportunity to revisit this important topic.

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