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Going for Gold in the Olympic IT Infrastructure Event
A Contributed Article by Joop Janssen, Director, Solution Services Sales, Stratus Technologies

The countdown is on - we're less than a month away from the London Olympics. While many are getting excited to watch their countries compete, there's a group of people outside of the Games that are getting ready for their own competition of sorts. Nope, it has nothing to do with swimming or gymnastics, this new event is called the Internet crawl. Who's competing? Anyone that has a business or is does business in London, whose cash flow relies heavily on Internet transactions. Thankfully, for this event multiple companies can share the podium. All they have to do to achieve gold is figure out a way to avoid having their services go down.

Think about this: Over 20 million tickets have already been sold for the Games. On top of that, there will be thousands upon thousands of world news and sports media in attendance. Combined, that equals a massive amount of smartphones, tablets and laptops churning out tweets and posting pictures, over and above the massive data volumes already generated daily by citizens of the U.K.

This presents a serious problem for businesses trying to continue their normal routine. The government has even gone so far to send out warnings to area businesses that they could lose their Internet connection between July 27 and August 12. As a business manager or IT expert that is already under the gun to produce beyond your means, is there anything you can or should be doing to make ready? Here are some tips to keep in mind as you ready yourself over the next few weeks: 
  • Follow the example of the U.K. emergency services: The U.K. police, fire and ambulance services completed a two-day systems test earlier this year. If you have a disaster recovery plan, now is a good time to test it to make sure it will work. If you don't have a DR plan, well, good luck.
  • Get in contact with your telecom service provider: Be very straightforward with them and ask what they are doing to ensure adequate network capacity, response time and back-up. At the same time, re-evaluate your own capacity, back-ups and vendor quality-of- service commitments.
  • Hasten your virtualization strategy: This is especially important for companies that involve geographically dispersed sites, or remote or branch office implementations. The farther away from London proper you are, the less impact you may experience.
  • Look at Amazon as a case study: Remember when thousands of Amazon Web Service customers when dark for four days last April? Amazon blamed them for their lack of foresight. If only they had spent more money spreading risk among more Amazon "availability zones" the outage probably would not have hurt as much. If you use the cloud, know with absolute certainty how extended downtime will affect you, and if better options are open to you. Don't assume you are safe.

Remember throughout all of this one simple word: plan. Do as much as you can to make sure you are prepared ahead of time. It's officially crunch time and if you're not ready, you may just find yourself sitting at home, watching the Games on TV like the rest of the world.

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About the Author

Joop Janssen is Stratus' Director of Solution Services Sales. To assist clients in maximizing uptime for their most critical application environments, Joop leads a high-performance sales team responsible for creating and delivering customized solutions by combining people, processes, and technology. He built Stratus' Professional Services and Managed Services practices. Joop has 18 years of experience building and growing client-centric services practices, focused on delivering tangible business results. Prior to joining Stratus in 2005, Joop held senior sales and consulting roles with Peak Technologies, Cable & Wireless, Motorola, and Siemens. Joop earned an MBA from London Business School, a Professional Doctorate of Engineering in Information and Communications Technology as well as an MSEE from Eindhoven University in the Netherlands.

Published Thursday, June 28, 2012 7:20 AM by David Marshall
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Going for Gold in the Olympic IT Infrastructure Event « VT News - (Author's Link) - June 28, 2012 10:33 AM
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