Outages & The Inconvenience of Convenience - InformationWeek

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Outages & The Inconvenience of Convenience
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Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
2/7/2014 | 10:01:55 AM
Refreshing
This is a refreshing attitude about downtime: it's gonna happen, so let's not lose our minds. It's easy to get hysterical when the digital pipeline stops pumping, but hysteria doesn't help.
hwainwright@dattobackup.com
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[email protected],
User Rank: Apprentice
2/7/2014 | 1:06:00 PM
Re: Refreshing
How one views the affects of downtime may be in correlation with how they're affected by the cost of downtime -- what's their Recovery Time Objective (RTO)?  If it's a business that loses revenue, lost production, or faces compliance fines in the first minutes or hours of downtime, they'll be more proactive to put a business continuity solution in place.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/9/2014 | 9:41:17 PM
Re: Refreshing
The cost and impact of downtime needs to be accurately and realistically measured. For some businesses, minutes down cost thousands. For many business, the impact is about irritated employees, not significant lost revenue. We all tend to think we need bulletproof systems that have Six Sigma uptimes, but that really isn't always the case. I'm not in national security or healthcare. If we have systems down for a reasonable time, no one is going to suffer permanently. It will be a major inconvenience, but our business will survive. That kind of realistic view of our true business needs has helped us make appropriate and responsible business continuity investments.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
2/7/2014 | 11:06:06 AM
Downtime downer
Our obsession with being productive 24/7 has infected even that sacred pleasure of childhood: the snow day. My friend's daughter was informed this week her homework was due as scheduled -- via Google Drive. Now the kids must hope for complete power outage. 
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
2/7/2014 | 12:58:39 PM
Re: Downtime downer
Interestingly, I just read about a school system piloting a plan to hold school as usual during forseeable snow days by e-learning:

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/01/31/20snow.h33.html?tkn=RTUFsL%2BLh8HNCVo1phLYFgvvKp8QEVbxfwpe&cmp=SOC-EDIT-FB

The concept is, kids would rather that than go longer at the end of the year when the weather is nice. As a parent, you don't agree?
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
2/7/2014 | 1:29:57 PM
Re: Downtime downer
Heck no! I like snow days. And what about kids who don't have a good Internet connection, or only one computer at home but kids in different grades?
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
2/7/2014 | 1:49:33 PM
Re: Downtime downer
Presumably the lessons would be posted, and if only one device is available, the children would take turns and use their books while a sibling is online. However, yes, there's potential for kids without broadband to be left out.

I think it makes sense in places like Chicago, where kids could be out for days at a time. The schools need to make loaner devices available and have allowances for lack of Internet. However, it's a natural next step.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
2/7/2014 | 5:46:30 PM
Re: Downtime downer
For another view on downtime, check out Beth Israel Deaconess CIO John Halamka's personal blog comparing downtime in 2002 versus 2013 -- including that his colleagues now have zero tolerance for downtime, and that the causes of downtime now are harder to anticipate and diagnose: 

http://geekdoctor.blogspot.com/2013/07/downtime-in-2002-verses-2013.html


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