Building resilience into ICT systems is a top issue for today’s digitalised organisations. Time to look at colocation through new eyes?
By Innes le Roux, General Manager: Resilient Office Services, ContinuitySA
Most organisations still see co-location as part of a disaster recovery plan. Now that cyber resilience has become so critical, I can’t help thinking that colocation has a greater role to play.
Cyber resilience, if one thinks about it, implies equipping the production environment to withstand unexpected events better. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of having to invoke a disaster and fail over to an alternate site. Cyber resilience is obviously very desirable, because failing over from one system to another always contains an element of risk, no matter how much testing and planning has been performed.
Doesn’t it therefore make sense to integrate co-location in professionally run, properly secured data centres into the architecture of the production environment as well? In this way, a company can access the kind of bullet-proof, Rolls-Royce data centre that would be extremely expensive (in both time and money) to set up.
If this kind of thinking makes sense, here are three further points to think about:
- By effectively decentralising data, and thus providing an automatic Plan B in the event of a problem, co-location can enhance cybersecurity.
- Colocation can improve security at the physical level. Sure, your own data centre may have all the right firewalls and threat-monitoring technology in place, but threats don’t only come from Russian hackers in a basement in Vladivostok. In other words, just how secure is the data centre itself? Does it have professional guards, CCTV and proper access control?
- Colocation with the right supplier can provide a large footprint across many geographical areas. ContinuitySA has data centres in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town as well as Mozambique, Botswana and Kenya. As a subsidiary of Internet Solutions, we can piggy-back on its pan-African network of data centres as well.
Business continuity providers like ContinuitySA have created highly resilient data centres and communication networks that are fit to act as a trusted safety net in the event of a disaster. One of the most exciting developments of the past few years has been the move to find ways of using these resources to integrate resilience into the production environment. Colocation is one way to do it.