Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Data Recovery: How Far Apart Should Primary, Recovery Data Centers Be?

A sound data recovery question recently got addressed over at How far apart should my primary and recovery data centers be situated?

Ready for the answer? Well, there isn’t one. Yeah, I was disappointed too. But at least there was some interesting information about trends and what organizations are doing (albeit in England, but the concept is the same). According to a chart provided by Forrester Research, as of 2010, 24 percent of organizations in the UK have primary and data recovery centers located between 500 and 1,000 miles apart. As recently as 2007, the majority (22 percent) were 1,000 or more miles apart.

data recovery - zombie

Yeah, if it comes to this, the location of your data recovery center will be the least of your worries.

It varies from there, with 16 percent being between 250 and 500 miles apart and another 16 percent being less than 25 miles apart. The lowest percentage, 9 percent, keep their centers between 100 and 250 miles apart.

Why is this important? Well, because if a tornado blasts its way through the Louisville area this spring and takes out both your primary center and your data recovery center, you’re screwed.

The article makes a few good points, including:

-Distance is good, but doesn’t necessarily equal safety. For instance, a primary data center on the Florida panhandle and a data recovery center in the Coastal Carolinas could still be hit by the same hurricane.

-How far is too far? Yep, if you’ve got your two data centers on opposite coasts, Internet bandwidth could become an issue.

-How far is too far, Part II. If a disaster hits locally and you have a contingency site set up, say, 500 miles away, will your employees be willing or able to get into their vehicles and drive there immediately? Probably not, as they’ll have family and personal property to tend to.

Here at TDV Cloud, we do a little of both; our main data recovery site is just 100 or so miles away, meaning that in an extreme event, we can drive up there and retrieve a fully backed-up disk that contains your data and bring it back for you. At the same time, we also have backups several hundred miles north, just in case.

Of course, let’s face it: If your one of those folks who watches “The Walking Dead,” you know that when the zombie apocalypse hits, we’re all screwed anyway. In the meantime, however, the distance between your primary and recovery data centers is worth considering.


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