disaster recovery planThe sheer size and scope of Google is astounding. The estimates are that the software needed to run all of Google’s Internet services (Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, etc.) spans 2 billion+ lines of code. The up-time of Google Cloud Platform’s storage service, which experienced 14 minutes of downtime in a recent year, according to CloudHarmony, was a 99.9996 up-time percentage. So one thing is for sure at Google: They have sound reliability from the ground up...to the cloud!

Attributed to Pliny the Elder, but quoted by so many over the years, rings true in all things electronic, “The only certainty is that nothing is certain.” We know that anything electrical can fail unexpectedly. There are no warning signs. What businesses of all nature need, especially credit unions, is scalability and availability in disaster recovery planning that doesn’t compromise performance.

Enter the lessons that can be learned from Google and how they handle unexpected system failures through redundancy. Google’s enormous repository is well protected, as it should be. The video below is a tour of their data center showcasing how they take their massive scale and pair it with extreme attention to security and privacy while having a very efficient data center with the aforementioned uptimes and an unbelievable 12% overhead.

Almost all data management methods that exist today use some kind of redundancy mechanisms. In its most basic state, data redundancy is a condition created within a database or data storage application where the same piece of data is held in two geographically separate places.

Credit unions need to keep member impact low should a system fail or a disaster occur. A sound credit union disaster recovery plan proactively and collaboratively ensures system failures and outages are a rare occurrence by actively measuring data thresholds, processing load limits, and are tested regularly. Operational efficiency and credit union operations in general rely on your main technology system's up-time. If your system is down for a lengthy amount of time due to a man-made or natural disaster it will be difficult to serve members who rely on you in those times of emergency.  

For Google, their data management is at such a massive scale that it’s almost unthinkable. At one point, there were 1.5 billion images on Google. To save them all, it would take 112 million floppy disks (161 terabytes). Of course, that’s just one segment of the truly massive amount of data controlled by Google. If a behemoth the size of Google can construct a sound disaster recovery plan for its massive systems, we believe that credit unions should have the resources available to them to be just as protected.

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