Business As Usual in the Face Of Disaster

We often hear the phrase “the show must go on” during theatrical presentations or recitals, even in the movies too. It means that no matter what happens, the show must go on. It’s that simple.  No matter what happens in the surrounding or problems faced by the actors/actresses themselves, they should not abandon the show and finish what they have started.

It’s also the same mantra observed by many entrepreneurs. In their case, it is “business as usual” instead of the term the show must go on. The business will go on as usual regardless of what is happening around them. However, many things have changed now and should be taken into consideration in continuing business operation in times of disaster.

Natural disasters often strike with little to no warning, but their operational and economic impact to organizations can be devastating. As scientists expect the future will likely include more cases of extreme weather, organizations should leverage the calm before the storm to ensure that business continuity plans address key impacts of a natural disaster event. Preparation is the best defense against these disasters, and the time for preparing is now – before disaster strikes.

Key elements that business continuity plans should incorporate include the potential operational and economic impact of such events, particularly in light of previous natural disasters. Specifically, the aftermath and losses of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the more recent mandatory evacuation of the Eastern seaboard during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 highlight the importance of business continuity planning and preparedness.

A recent study conducted by a leading insurance provider found that 48 percent of all small businesses do not have a business continuity plan. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that 40 percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster, and another 25 percent fail within one year. The factor underlying this failure rate is business’ fundamental under-preparedness. Compounding the problem is the lack of understanding of the scope and breadth of insurance coverage or government provisions.


All business establishments have their own business continuity plans or disaster recovery plans to help them cope with natural calamities or other changes in the environment. Aside from protecting the lives of the people working in the company, company property and equipment should also be protected to reduce the loss of revenue and further financial loss to the company.

After a traumatic experience like a natural disaster, people want to get back to normal life: work, routine and the things they enjoy. However, the effects of events like these can be long-lasting, especially if your home and other assets are not properly insured.

You can’t just close your store and wait for things to clear up. If the calamity isn’t as big and your store/business wasn’t directly affected, you can still continue your business, not only to support yourself and keep the business going but also to provide a source of income for your employees who need money to help them get on their feet once more.

A proper plan for what to do the moment calamity strikes can ensure the years ahead aren’t more stressful and frustrating than they have to be. This goes beyond the immediate needs of evacuation, or having enough food and water for everyone in your household to get through the first 72 hours after a disaster. 

If you do need to evacuate, knowing the location of personal identification, insurance policies, medical prescriptions, contact information, computer backups, and other documents is essential so they can be grabbed at a moment’s notice. Having cash on hand can be useful in a widespread catastrophe because debit and credit card payment systems can suffer outages. Internet service, cellphone reception and electrical power can also be interrupted.

In the long term, insurance can be the best tool you have available to stave off the lasting pain of a disaster. When an incident harms a large area, a community takes much longer to get back to normal. After all, construction crews cannot roll in and begin rebuilding the next day, says Dolan.


The world is changing and we all know that. Weather systems act up now and then and you can never tell when it will hit your town next. You can’t just sit idly and unprepared as the whole world experiences global warming and climate change especially if you have a business to protect. You spent a great deal of your money on capital and your time and effort in planning for the business and eventually running it, so you don’t want all your efforts to go down the drain in a snap when the weather decides to go against you.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your stuff organized and establish your company’s own disaster recovery plan and communicate it clearly toward all employees, so they know what to do when it happens. Get that business and risk analysis done to help you make a comprehensive and fool-proof business continuity plan that is specially formulated for your business alone. Survive all disaster with its help without losing your business in the process.

If a fire ravages your business, check this link: to help you cope with the disaster especially that tech gadgets are vulnerable to the elements. In the case of a flood, can help. There is always a solution to your problem if you prepared for it beforehand.

The following post Business As Usual in the Face Of Disaster was originally published on



Will Humans Ever Outgrow Smartphones?

Have you ever seen a human being right now who doesn’t own a smartphone? It’s probably unlikely, right? Even kids have their own smart gadgets to tinker with and pass the time. Indeed, smartphones have become a crucial part of our lives and we can’t imagine living without it. From the moment we wake up until the moment we sleep at night, it’s the last thing we hold and treasure dearly.

Now, the question is will it ever run out of style? Who knows? Technology evolves and it is ever changing; upgrading, rather. When you look back on the proud history of smartphones, you’d notice how pretty tame most mobile gadgets now are unlike older mobile phones that varied in size and shape. Almost everything looks quite the same now despite how powerful they have become internally.

In the past few weeks, two top tech companies have said smartphones will soon be obsolete.

Microsoft’s Alan Kipman made the boldest statement, saying smartphones are already “dead”. 

Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, was a bit more generous, giving smartphones about five years before they were replaced.

There were two things in common about the companies behind these statements.

First, they both missed the smartphone bus. Microsoft has repeatedly tried to make phones and an operating system and has failed each time.

Facebook also tried to make an operating system and tanked even worse than Microsoft.

Second, they are both bullish on augmented reality. In fact, both statements came while promoting their AR tech. AR is the integration of digital information with your environment in real time. The Pokemon Go app is the most common example.

Kipman is responsible for Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset and he predicts this type of tech will kill off our love for smartphones. Zuckerberg agrees and outlines a world where everyone wears glasses which allow virtual screens to be everywhere.


People will always be curious and want to innovate. Some will defy the norm and come up with crazy ideas that may actually work or maybe not but we can never tell unless we give it a try.

That five-inch phone in your pocket, the one you absolutely can’t live without, does damn near anything these days. It’s the Great Usurper, rendering everything from newspapers to music players to actual human interaction all but obsolete. People embraced smartphones faster than any other gadget in the history of the world, creating a trillion-dollar industry that is expected to reach more than six billion people in the next four years.

And yet some people dare to ask, “What’s next?” I hear this question from smartwatch manufacturers and light bulb companies and headphone makers and so many others in tech. They’re all trying to find The Next Big Thing and figure out what the world looks like when smartphones finally go away. Some are betting on the ‘internet of things’ to blanket the world in computers, making the one in your pocket moot. Others say the future lies with computers on your body. Or in your body. Everyone is in the spaghetti-throwing phase, searching for the iPhone (or Pixel) killer. But here’s the thing: Smartphones aren’t going away. Not anytime soon. Smartphones are, and will remain, the hub of a new wheel, the sun around which the universe orbits.


Smartphones are roughly 10 years old now but it’s not showing any signs of becoming obsolete soon. The truth is, it’s actually becoming more popular by the day and experts estimate that almost everyone in the planet now owns one.

But I don’t think the smartphone will completely die off. Instead, I believe it’s more likely to morph into a mobile computing device that provides the smarts of whatever interface device is feeding you information, whether it’s a pair of smart glasses, a digital voice, or even something connected directly to your brain. (Some might argue that mobile technology is getting small enough to pack the necessary smarts into the interface devices themselves, but that will be challenging given the new functions we’ll expect these new devices to perform.)

In fact, I believe smartphones, or the core technology powering them, will become even more essential to our daily lives in the future. Whether that tech stays in the rectangular-slate shape we know today or it morphs into some kind of wearable “brain,” the technical wizardry that powers today’s smartphones will evolve and make it possible to walk around and access information without ever needing to look at a screen.


There is no truth then that smartphones will run out of style soon but it will probably evolve into something more efficient than it already is and look a little different too. Some makers may be leaning into the technology of augmented reality soon and it’s something we should all watch out for. Whether it will be a hit still remains a question, though, as the technology is yet untested in real life.

While we can’t help but gush over the latest smartphone model out in the market today, there’s a tech staple that has been around for roughly four decades and remains to be useful to this day – the computer. Unfortunately, data loss is still a problem faced by many when it comes to tech use. Before it happens, can help you address hard drive failure issues to protect your data from getting lost or corrupted ever. If you are using an android phone, though, comes to your rescue and save whatever needs saving. A lot of aspects of your life have now become valuable pieces of data that you may lose forever if you are not careful enough.

The blog post Will Humans Ever Outgrow Smartphones? is courtesy of Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog


How The Environment Suffers From Too Much Technology

Mother Nature isn’t always happy when technology comes knocking on her door. We can’t just ignore how the environment suffers from the production of technological gadgets and its use and disposal too. Lands are converted into manufacturing plants and the nearby surroundings are exposed to deadly chemicals and toxins among others. People are exposed to more pollution – water, air, noise, etc.

Mother Nature dies in the presence of technology. We have witnessed it time and again. And we are suffering from her wrath when the usual calamities we face each year have been worsened by global warming and climate change. The people are still yet to learn their lesson. Even the government is clueless on how to address relevant and pressing issues like these and waste time and precious government resources on things that do not really matter.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to undo Obama-era climate change regulations that his administration says are hobbling oil drillers and coal miners, a move environmental groups have vowed to take to court.

The decree’s main target is former president Barack Obama’s clean power plan that required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants — a critical element in helping the United States meet its commitments to a global climate change accord reached by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015.

The so-called “energy independence” order also reverses a ban on coal leasing on federal lands, undoes rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas production, and reduces the weight of climate change and carbon emissions in policy and infrastructure permitting decisions.

“I am taking historic steps to lift restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion, and to cancel job-killing regulations,” Trump said at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters, speaking on a stage lined with coal miners.


While the country’s leaders focus on the economy and the topic of defense, they fail to give equally important issues enough attention like government efforts in protecting the environment because they don’t see its ROI right away.

Flanked by coal miners and Cabinet members, Trump vowed to spark an “energy revolution” that would put coal miners across the country back to work. 

“Today’s energy independence action calls for an immediate re-evaluation of the so-called Clean Power Plan,” he said during a ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency that lasted less than 30 minutes. “We’re ending the theft of American prosperity and rebuilding our beloved country.” 

And without fully realizing the implications of such actions, President Trump dooms the world to more harm and destruction aside from increasing the nation’s carbon footprint. Perhaps it is not clear to him the outcomes of his decisions or else he’ll likely think twice before passing and enforcing such drastic counter policies.

Trump’s executive order will likely kneecap the federal government’s most important policy for reducing carbon emissions. Doing so would also hamper U.S. efforts to meet the commitments made more than a year ago in the 195-country Paris Agreement ― the first global climate deal to include the U.S. and China, the world’s biggest polluters. 

The long-expected order gives teeth to Trump’s America First Energy Plan, a vague policy outline he issued after his inauguration to eliminate Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

Obama’s plan, launched in 2013, set a strategy for combating climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The utility sector accounts for the greatest portion of the U.S. carbon footprint, producing 30 percent of all emissions, according to 2014 data from the EPA. That’s largely because coal, by far the dirtiest-burning fossil fuel, has long served as the country’s primary source of electricity.

The core of Obama’s initiative was the Clean Power Plan, a sweeping EPA rule that aimed to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels. The policy set new standards for new natural gas-burning power plants, and put stricter limits on coal-fired, steam-based plants, forcing them to be fitted with controversial carbon-capture technology. By implementing the plan, the U.S. hoped meet its emissions reduction goals as part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. (The failure of previous global deals, such as the 1992 Kyoto Protocol, hinged partly on the United States’ refusal to implement emission cuts.) 


It is not clear to many Americans what the goal of the Trump administration is. Is President Trump really determined to make American great again or is he just adamant to undo any progress the progress administration has made so far and establish policies that are clearly the opposite of what former President Obama pushed for?

We should know the limits of technology. While we greatly benefit from many things offered by these advancements, let us not be blinded and forget what really matters in the end. When we no longer have clean water to drink and clean air to breathe, will technology provide us with what we need no matter how 3D or 4 D they appear?

The post How The Environment Suffers From Too Much Technology is courtesy of HDRA


Why Take Data Security Seriously?

You should not take the security and protection of your data lightly whether online or offline. Accidents can happen and you may end up losing precious data without even having the chance to save a backup copy that you can access from another device. And at a day and age when personal data of millions of people are scattered all over the web, it is more important than ever to protect your data at all cost.

There are various cyber security measures you can adopt depending on your needs. But before that, among the first measure you can take is to transfer and save another copy of important files/ data you have in a separate storage device for safekeeping or risk having your personal data in the wrong hands, or worse, lost forever.

Consumer Reports has announced it is to launch the first phase of a collaborative effort to set up a new standard for digital security for consumers, in an attempt to boost consumer confidence in privacy and data security.

The new initiative will aim to bring out the positive aspects of previous similar schemes, and will be carried out in conjunction with several partners within the industry.

Safeguarding the security and privacy of consumers will be the end goal of the new measures.

The US-based nonprofit organization is hopeful that the industry will adopt the standard in the development of various digital products, including connected devices, software and mobile apps.

The aims of the new standard include ensuring all products, whether they are laptops, security cameras or even cars, are built with the robustness needed to withstand security threats.

The standard will also aim to inform consumers about what data are being collected by their products, while at the same time offering more clarity when it comes to the idea of ownership.


And cyber security should be taken seriously not just on a personal level. As more and more businesses establish their online presence, it is more important than ever to protect the company’s data and prevent thieves from gaining access to both company and consumer information.

The data privacy and access discussion gets all the more complicated in the age of IoT.

Some organizations might soon suffer from data paucity — getting locked, outbid or otherwise shut out of critical new data sources that could help optimize future business. While I believe that every data-driven organization should start planning today to avoid ending up data poor, this concern is just one of many potential data-related problems arising in our new big data, streaming, internet of things (IoT) world. In fact, issues with getting the right data will become so critical that I predict a new strategic data enablement discipline will emerge to not just manage and protect valuable data, but to ensure access to all the necessary — and valid — data the corporation might need to remain competitive.

And the problem is more complex than it seems. Just look around you and take in just how digital our world has become, where the personal and work lives of people all revolve around the web and the machines they are using.

You might counter that there are ways to ensure some basic privacy by aggregating and anonymizing personally identifying information out of such data, but we already know it’s difficult, if not impossible, to truly anonymize stores of big data. Accumulated masses of IoT data can easily contain deeply embedded clues that can be correlated with public data sets to restore identifying information.

Imagine that your car reports where it’s parked most nights. Or that smart components within the car can track when they were last serviced or upgraded. A business that makes clutches might learn about a car owner’s home address — and thus their identity — travel patterns and driving habits.

Some supply chains already push the monitoring and proactive maintenance for embedded — or even merely associated — components back up their chains. Wal-Mart made a fortune offering its suppliers some transparency into sales in exchange for having those suppliers maintain their own inventory in stores. This seemed fine, since the traditional goods we’ve bought didn’t keep reporting on us once we carried them home. But now, new, intelligent devices we buy and plug in keep up a continual connection and data flow up to a third-party service. Who’s got eyes on all that big data about us that we unwittingly generate?


One can never stress more than enough the value of cyber security and the importance of protecting your data. You input personal data in every social media account you have – and all of them are also connected to one or more email accounts. You share photos of yourself and the people you love in these platforms, and at times, even the location you are in, in real time. You not only endanger personal details but even your physical security when criminals are aware you are out of the house and on vacation somewhere far away by simply posting photos of your mini-getaways on the web.

Why Take Data Security Seriously? was initially seen on


Why Buy An External Hard Drive?

Our daily life revolves around the multiple use of technology. From smartphone use to the use of household appliances, we all have learned to incorporate their use in our daily lives. Back in the days, only a handful of people had personal computers or laptops of their own. There was really no need to own one since there is not much to do with it aside from encoding data and files. However, a lot has changed today that owning one simply is a must.

All computers and laptops have a built-in memory albeit not that big. Storage space may be somehow limited; it is why computer and laptop owners who require plenty of storage purchase an external hard drive where they can save and store extra files. Having an external hard drive also protects your files from cyber criminals who are after your precious data. They are not flawless, however.

One afternoon last fall, Kevin, an engineer who works for a Florida power company, was quickly checking emails on his home computer when he spotted what he thought was a message containing the mailing label he needed to return some headphones he had recently bought.

The attachment came up blank, so he moved on. Soon his computer began to run a little sluggishly. Then, three hours later, his screensaver—a photo from a South Pacific vacation he and his wife had enjoyed—disappeared. When he checked the directory holding all his photos, he was startled to find them all renamed with strings of gibberish.
ALSO ON HIS SCREEN was an icon for a document he didn’t recognize. He clicked on it and panicked as he read a chilling message: “All of your files are encrypted,” it began. And they would be lost to him forever unless he made a ransom payment of $2,400.

This is a reality an unfortunate few experiences when they encounter experienced cyber criminals who will take advantage of you and your computer’s vulnerability. If you haven’t protected your data or stored a backup somewhere else, then you’re a goner.

What happened to Kevin and thousands of other people last year could easily happen to you. Your computer or smartphone could be attacked by what’s known as ransomware, a fast-growing online scourge that can cost you thousands of dollars if you pay to regain your files—and thousands of dollars if you don’t. Also at stake: documents critical to your business or personal finances, priceless family photos, and the days or weeks you might spend trying to replace what you have lost. Want to recover your photos or financial records? You could be ordered to pay anywhere from $200 to $10,000—the range of ransom money typically demanded of individuals, according to a recent IBM Security survey. And nearly a quarter of businesses hit by a ransomware attack end up paying $40,000 or more. As the Department of Homeland Security warned last year, ransomware’s effect can be “devastating.”

Ransomware has spread with terrifying speed. This type of malware—short for “malicious software”—accounted for fewer than 2% of emails with malicious links or attachments in the fall of 2015, according to PhishMe, a cybersecurity firm. By last fall, ransomware’s share had zoomed to a shocking 97%. Total ransomware losses in the U.S. hit $1 billion in 2016, up from $24 million in 2015, the FBI estimated.


It is never wise to store all your important files in one place. So if you have the money to spare, buying an external hard drive can save you from all these headaches. You have somewhere safe to store all your important documents, photos, and even songs and movies that you painstakingly downloaded from the web.

It may not be a widely celebrated holiday, but World Backup Day — celebrated on Mar. 31, just ahead of April Fools’ Day — aims to encourage computer users to regularly back up their data.
That appears to be something many users don’t do.
CBC Radio technology columnist Dan Misener explains why it’s important, and offers some strategies to keep data safe and secure.
It’s a day all about backup awareness, and getting more people to start backing up their computers if they don’t already, or — for those who do — to take a serious look at their backup strategy, and make sure it’s up to snuff.

Why is there a need to backup your computer?

Whenever I talk about the importance of backup, I always think about my friends Mike and Catherine, who lost every single photo of their twin sons’ first year because of a hard drive crash.
We’re talking about protecting your most precious digital documents. The kind of stuff that’s heartbreaking to lose, because it simply can’t be replaced.
And to be clear, backups don’t just protect against hard drive crashes — there are many, many ways to lose data. You can lose data in natural disasters like floods or fires, for example. Or you can lose data if your computer is stolen.
And then there’s ransomware.


Those are just some of the reasons why backing up your computer with an external hard drive, for instance, can save your files/ data (and even your life). Make a conscious effort to protecting your data because the web is not a safe place at all and that hackers are just around the corner waiting for you to click that one suspicious spam mail that can be your undoing.

Invest in your data security and free yourself from the constant worries of cyber crimes that happen all around you with the help of a trusted external hard drive where you can transfer and store important files from your phone, tablet, laptop, and computer.

Why Buy An External Hard Drive? Read more on: The Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog


Level Up Your Computer Memory With A New SSD

Most computer and laptop owners are aware that their gadgets have a hard drive in place, where data and files are saved and stored. Some even go to great lengths and purchase a backup – an external hard drive where they transfer precious data to free up space on the computer’s hard drive itself.

What many are not aware of, there are other storage options for your computer aside from the conventional hard drives we know of. If you haven’t heard of an SSD or a Solid State Drive, now is the best time to give it a try and enjoy the same benefits offered by a hard drive and some more minus the minor flaws of using an HDD.

If your new Windows 10 computer takes a long time to boot up, that’s likely because it runs on a regular hard drive. This is also the case of most older computers. Do you know that replacing that hard drive with a solid-state drive (SSD) will make the machine run much faster? It’s true, a 5-year-old computer with an SSD boots much faster than even a brand new rig running on a regular hard drive. The good news is that swapping out the drives is quite easy to do and not too expensive either, thanks to the fact that SSDs are now much more affordable than they were a few years ago.


There is good news about SSDs and you are probably wondering what’s in it for you – a regular computer/ laptop user.

Hard drives are getting a much deserved kick in the pants with Intel’s new Optane Memory.

The processor maker claims its newest technology will give old-school spinning drives solid-state drive-like (SSD) speeds today and eventually transform computer storage forever. 

Intel Optane Memory might sound like RAM, but it’s actually a specialized storage product that hooks up to the M.2 storage slot (PCIe Gen 3.0×2) on a PC motherboard. You’ll find them on the latest motherboards designed for Intel’s latest 7th generation, or Kaby Lake, processors and the 200 series Intel chipset.

The connected storage drive endows you with 16GB or 32GB of Optane Memory for blazing fast cache.

Cache that can make, say, your 1TB, 7,200 rpm spinning hard drive twice as responsive in performing daily tasks and booting up or launch your browser up to five times faster. Oh, and how about 67% and 65% reductions in game app launch and game level load times, respectively?


And Intel is offering everyone a chance to upgrade their computer’s storage with an SSD that promises to work even better than the good old hard drive. It can even store data for an even longer time without the constant risk of data loss.

It definitely feels like Intel is on to something here, for the simple reason that most computer users look for the larger hard drive. It’s one of the most important factors to the casual user, and they definitely notice when storage space is lacking. What system builders know is that using an SSD improves the minute-to-minute usability and responsiveness of any system, to the point that we’ve taken to harshly criticize modern systems that don’t at least offer it as an option.
The bottom line is that Intel is offering up a product that makes some impressive promises to a market that already had to answer them.


There’s no harm in trying this new technology from Intel. Technology is evolving. Newer developments are designed to help us keep up with the various technological advancements the best way we can. And we will never really know if something works unless we give it a try. SSDs have been here for a while. Your computing and data needs will tell you whether you can benefit more from an SDD or an HDD.

Level Up Your Computer Memory With A New SSD is available on HDRA Blog


What You Need To Know About A Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster may strike when you are least prepared for it. It is true when it comes to natural disasters where people are hurt, displaced or killed because of unpreparedness. The same thing applies to your digital life. As more businesses rely on technology to maintain and grow their business, more and more processes are computerized to make things faster and easier.

However, it has a major flaw. Since technology relies on power/ electricity to function, any power interruption or outage can put a temporary halt to the business and render both machines and files useless for a while until the power returns. It can happen when your town was hit by a major storm and there has been flooding all over the area – even your office was not spared. You may end up with computers soaking in water and files you may never be able to retrieve anymore.

You close your small business for the day and go home. You come back the next morning, and a leak has caved in the roof and it has fallen on your office server. If you don’t have an IT disaster recovery plan, your day is going to get much worse.

According to the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and its Prepare My Business program, 90 percent of companies fail within a year unless they can resume operations within five days following a disaster.

It is the reason why a business recovery plan is a must for any business to flourish no matter what kind of disaster threatens its existence.

An IT disaster recovery plan is a process put in place for responding to unforeseen events effecting your data with a documented and structured approach and a clear set of instructions. These instructions include a step-by-step plan designed to greatly minimize the impact of any disaster and to allow your business to swiftly resume operations.

The broader terms business continuity or disaster recovery, generally  describe a similar concept. They are procedures allowing you to recover from a disaster quickly so you can continue your business with minimal disruption. However, the IT disaster recovery plan refers specifically to data and other IT operations.

The other two descriptions may also apply to procedures providing for things like replacement for damaged equipment or inventory and even additional part-time or full-time help where needed.

It begins by analyzing the business process and the continuity needs of the company. It requires a business impact analysis and risk analysis to establish the recovery time objective and recovery point objective — both important when setting up the plan.


All companies should anticipate for disasters and establish their very own disaster recovery plan to protect important data and files of the company as well as expensive machines and gadgets that are just as difficult to replace with.

Asynchronous vs synchronous. Dark disaster recovery vs. active architecture. Active/active vs. active/passive. No setup is objectively better or worse than another. The best one for you primarily depends on your level of tolerance for what happens when the server goes down.

Security experts say how individual companies choose to save their data in anticipation of an outage depends on how long they can survive before the “lights” are turned back on. What level of availability does your company need? Is the face of your company an ecommerce site where even a few minutes offline can cost an astronomical sum? Will the cost of an active-active system outweigh the potential loss of business from an outage?

“It isn’t about one being more efficient than the other. More to the point of what needs are you trying to solve for. For example, buying a Ferrari to get groceries will get the job done, but is it really fit for purpose?” says Don Foster, senior director of solutions marketing and technical alliances at Commvault.


A company has to take into consideration everything that has to do with the operation of the business when preparing for a disaster recovery plan – whatever the disaster may be. But once you understand what needs to be done and the amount of preparation required, your business will not only survive any disaster but even thrive while others struggle to pick up the broken pieces of their operation.

The following blog post What You Need To Know About A Disaster Recovery Plan was originally seen on


A Hard Blow For Microsoft’s Windows 10

The computing world is only made up of two users – a Mac user and a Windows user. While the rich and the elite prefer their sleek, shiny and classy MacBook Pros, the majority of the world relies on Windows PC in their day-to-day.

Most Windows users are now using the Windows 10 operating system. It may mean a smooth transition for someone who bought a brand new computer or laptop but it can be a struggle for someone who owns an existing laptop and has decided to finally make the upgrade. And while many try to resolve any issues on their own or learn to live with the losses along the way, some will make a fuss and voice out their complaints.

Windows 10 has certainly not been short of controversy. Between forced upgrades, telemetry and privacy concerns, and the introduction of increasing numbers of ads, Microsoft has been on the receiving end of a good deal of criticism for the latest version of its operating system. And the trouble is not over.

With the launch of Windows 10 Creators Update just around the corner, Microsoft faces a lawsuit from three people from Illinois who claim that the upgrade not only resulted in data loss, but also damaged their computers. The lawsuit makes reference to the difficulty many users found in declining the offer of upgrading to Windows 10.


While an upgrade promises better features, it has some major downsides too. For starters, forced upgrades leaves you with little choice but to give in and upgrade to the latest Windows offering even though you have been using Windows 7 for as long as you can remember. Hence, a sudden upgrade can result in a major inconvenience and even data loss or damage to property.

A class action lawsuit filed in Illinois last week alleges that Microsoft did not do enough to ensure that its Windows 10 operating system wouldn’t cause problems for users who downloaded it.

The suit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, names three plaintiffs and seeks more than $5 million in damages. It was filed on behalf of all Microsoft users in the U.S. who lost data or whose devices were damaged after installing Windows 10.

Released in July 2015, Windows 10 was offered as a free upgrade for one year to any Microsoft users running previous versions of the company’s operating system. While Microsoft touted the cloud-focused Windows 10, now installed on more than 400 million devices, as its most advanced and secure OS to date, many customers have complained about the company’s aggressive efforts to get people to upgrade.


So, just what does this lawsuit implies and how will it affect Microsoft in general?

The three say Microsoft did not provide adequate warnings before customers started the Windows 10 upgrade process, such as “the fact that consumers should back up their data before the download was commenced, the fact that the operating system might render their computers or particular programs on their computers unuseable, or the fact that the download might cause them to lose data.”

Plaintiffs also allege that Microsoft was aware “of the fact that its Windows 10 operating system upgrade could cause loss of data or damage to hardware.”

Plaintiffs are looking for damages, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and other reliefs the court would seem fit.


While many are forced to make upgrades because that is what the system tells them to do, anyone who suffered greatly because of these things is also free to speak up and file cases when they feel that their rights have been trampled on. And let this serve as an example to Microsoft that even though people who use their gadgets have no choice but to comply with most upgrades, some will not take it lightly and even file lawsuits if the inconvenience was more than they could bear.

The following article A Hard Blow For Microsoft’s Windows 10 is available on


How SSDs Make Life Easier

Most computers and laptops use conventional hard drives for the saving and storage of data. But as more alternatives open up and businesses expand their operation, there is even a greater need for data space and storage. SSDs may just be the solution (and sometimes not) some people are looking for when they experience disk issues like these. Since its prices have significantly gone down in previous years, it is becoming a more feasible option for a wider market now.

And when it comes to recovery plans, you have to take everything into consideration and look at all possible options that can save your business and its operation in the unlikely event of an unforeseen disaster.

Today, 1 TB SSDs are very inexpensive, retailing from distributors at around $200. This is still considerably higher than backup/archiving workhorse hard drives, which deliver 4 TB or more for the same price.

SSDs get interesting when we look at the backup window, which for many sites is just too long, and getting longer as storage grows. We are moving data to the cloud, too, using gateway appliances, but the WAN performance is fixed and limited, which implies a good buffer is a necessary part of the design.

This is where those large SSDs become very useful for backup and recovery plans. Data can be journaled on the gateway using a pair of SSDs in a mirror configuration for data integrity. The large SSDs allow many parallel backup streams, limited only by the LAN connection’s capacity. This shortens the backup window significantly.


The use of SSD does not only come in handy in recovery plans that involve disasters, natural calamities, or tech disturbances, SSDs are more affordable now and more people can enjoy the seamless benefits it offers you don’t get when using a traditional hard drive.

Seagate senior director of product management Kent Smith said he expects the 60TB drive to be available within a year. He said the drive will enable active-active archives. “Take a social media site with a lot of photos that people need to access quickly,” he said. “People hate waiting. This is for when you need lots of capacity but you need it to respond quickly.”

SSDs are already making 15,000 RPM HDDs scarce and relegating 10,000 RPM drives to servers. With the larger drives, SSDs can also move into traditional capacity workloads.

“Flash for bulk data becomes attractive in places where data center space is limited,” said DeepStorage consultant Howard Marks.


SSDs are proving to make notable progress in a market that used to be dominated by hard drives.

As there is value in almost any data, it is rarely, if ever, deleted. This leads to increasing demands on storage capacity. The alternatives are hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs). HDD capacities have been increasing steadily over time, and have been the mainstream form of storage in the enterprise until now. But last year the capacity of HDDs was surpassed for the first time by SSDs – and because SSDs are scaling at a faster rate than HDDs, we will never look back.

SSDs use NAND memory, which has an amazing ability to scale. NAND memory is comprised of storage cells formed on semiconductor material. Improved density was achieved via process geometry shrinks at the die level. However, this method of gaining greater density was nearing its physical limitations based on how closely the memory cells were being squeezed together. Undeterred, the industry introduced a breakthrough in the past three years with the introduction of 3D or vertical NAND. Instead of attempting to squeeze memory cells ever closer together, 3D NAND stacks them vertically on top of each other. This allows SSDs to continue to aggressively scale in capacity for the foreseeable future. Another inflection point took place during the past year – enterprise SSDs became less expensive than 15K HDDs when taking data reduction technologies such as compression and deduplication into account. Compression reduces bits and hence the amount of storage needed for a set amount of data by identifying and eliminating statistical redundancy.


We can expect to see more changes as the demand for data and its storage also increases. Those who feel restricted by the limited features of most hard drives can now explore the benefits they can get from a solid-state drive (SSD) that works just as good as a hard drive without having to worry about the threats of data loss. You also get the assurance of longer data protection at a more reasonable cost, something you can easily enforce in times of disasters. So, give it a try and find out yourself if using an SSD really made your life easier.

The blog article How SSDs Make Life Easier Find more on: Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog


Save The Environment And Make Money From e-Waste

Most of us only see the benefits we get from a robust and progressive digital world. We enjoy the perks of getting connected to the world on a global scale. From social media platforms, online shopping, convenient data transfer/ storage, and the sheer convenience and easy life afforded by technology to us, it is easy to turn a blind eye to the environmental destruction caused by too much technology in the planet.

Not only do we use countless chemicals and toxic materials in the production of technological gadgets like computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, the manufacturing process itself may be harmful to the environment. Think of toxic batteries, chargers, and old units piling up somewhere. Then, there are the hazards posed by home and electrical appliances – both unused and scraps. Millions use these gadgets by now and understanding the severity regarding its disposal is something we should all take part in.

E-waste is an emerging issue, driven by the rapidly increasing quantities of complex end-of-life electronic equipment. The global level of production, consumption and recycling induces large flows of both toxic and valuable substances.

Electronic waste or e-waste refers to broken and unwanted electrical or electronic devices peripherals such as computers, monitors, printers, batteries, mobile phones, televisions, lamps and others, which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling, or disposal. E-waste mismanagement and its toxicity can lead to adverse human health effects and environmental pollution if disposed of incorrectly as there are more than 1,000 different harmful materials in e-waste products.


What else consists of e-waste then? How big of a problem is it in America?

E-waste consists of unwanted or broken electronic or electrical devices, and peripherals such as smartphones, televisions, laptops, refrigerators, computers, printers and other electronic products. The ever-rising problem of e-waste is being solved with the use of electronic recycling. Most electronic products are made up of metals, which are recyclable. The dismantling and recycling of end-of-life electronic products promotes the conservation of undamaged natural resources. Moreover, electronic recycling helps in minimizing the air and water pollution that is common in the disposal and landfilling of e-waste. Electronic recycling consists of three main processes: collection, pre-processing, and end-processing. The overall electronic scrap market was valued at US$ 11.03 Bn in 2014.

And these growing piles of e-waste contaminate the planet in a scale that we can never comprehend – making the world less livable and more toxic for everyone living in it. The damage has been done and the future generations will suffer from the neglect and abuse we are guilty of doing right now.

When e-waste is disposed in landfills, these toxic substances contaminate the water and soil, resulting in health problems. Recycling e-waste minimizes its propensity to cause health and environmental hazards. The use of electronic products and household equipment is on the rise globally. Most of the resultant e-waste from discarded electronic and household equipment is disposed of in landfills or exported illegally across international borders. The hazardous effects of e-waste and stringent government regulations to prevent improper disposal make electronic scrap one of the fastest-growing recycling segments. Europe is the second largest producer of e-waste in the world. The European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive focuses on maximizing the recycling and re-use of e-waste and minimizes the amount of it disposed in landfills. According to this legislation, every year a minimum of four kilograms of e-waste per capita of the national population should be collected and recycled. This requirement might surge to approximately 13 to 16 kilograms of e-waste per person per year.


Even the little things you do in preserving the environment by the simple acts of reducing waste, reusing trash and recycling can have a big impact on the world.

More and more electronic gadgets are making their way to the wastelands, especially in Asia. Phones, computers and other appliances have led to 12.3 million tons of e-waste in five years.

A study by the United Nations University shows e-trash is often dumped illegally, causing environmental problems.

Tech products often contain lead and mercury, which are toxic to the environment. The process of burning the electronics can also cause health issues. It’s usually how landfills get rid of the clutter.

Austin Startup, ‘Renew Logic’ is trying to take a greener approach with the discarded tech equipment.

CEO Gary Stephens said the company sells some discarded electronics into second-hand items and properly recycles the rest.


While we can’t stop technology from taking over the world, there is still something we can do when it comes to proper e-waste management. Nature is not designed to get rid of these modern wastes on its own. These e-wastes will still remain piled one on top of the other for years to come. They not only ruin the view but leak deadly chemicals and wastes that may be harmful to human health.

If you are concerned about the environment and the future of the succeeding generations, you will take these matters seriously as it will be hard for us to correct our mistakes once the damage has been done.

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