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Unplanned disaster -- Just what the doctor ordered

Summary: If you missed Storage Decisions in Chicago, not all is lost. We've gathered the slide presentations and more right here for you. So take a look and see what you missed.

No better time to have a nice dinner with family and friends than on a lazy Sunday night in the frigid early months of the year here on the East Coast. Funny thing is -- it's also a really good time to have an accidental data center disaster.

Over lunch at last week's Storage Decisions conference in Chicago, the storage managers of an East Coast medical school finalized their disaster recovery plans the hard way -- they had an accident.

A glitch in their data center created an unnatural and certainly unwanted power outage. The six-hour ordeal of getting everything back online ended shortly after midnight on Monday morning. While this event was an obvious inconvenience, it did an excellent job of exposing the hidden pitfalls awaiting when disaster struck.

The medical school managers learned which systems would remain up and running (they themselves were very surprised at which ones stayed up) and which would need to be restarted. It also allowed them to create a list of applications with the business units that MUST be brought on line right away.

While they didn't outright say accidentally "pulling the plug" was a good thing, it seems in the long run a stumble here and there is exactly what the doctor ordered.

This was just one of the hundreds of anecdotes shared by our delegates at the Storage Decisions last week in Chicago. The now tri-annual show, run by the parent company of and Storage magazine, brought more than 550 storage managers together to learn about, discuss and sometimes argue (or shall we call them civilized discussions) the intricacies of storage.

A good deal of the show sessions centered around tiered storage – and how to set up a tiered storage environment.

All of the slides from the show have been added to our library of presentations from previous shows. In case you were unable to make it out to Chicago, I encourage you to take a look at the agenda online and see what you missed.

Last week was not your only chance to attend a Storage Decisions show this year. Two more shows are planned. One, in New York this Sept. 28-30, and the other in Las Vegas, Nov.9-11. Please check out the Storage Decisions Web site in the coming days for more information on those conferences.

If you have any suggestions as to topics or show sessions, please don't hesitate to e-mail me your thoughts.

See you at the next show,

Mark Lewis

Dig Deeper on Disaster recovery planning - management

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