NOTE TO READER: KingsBridge and Dbvisit have entered into a partnership with guest posts going to each others blog.  This post is from Chris Lawless, VP of Product Management.

 

I arrived in Phoenix in a bit of a haze having just come from India. I was here for the DRJ Fall conference. This was my first time at this conference and I was really interested to find out what it was like. It was a different kind of conference than what we normally attend. Dbvisit typically attends conferences that are largely Oracle focused or focused on integration, Big Data or similar. This one was all about Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. Both of these topics are very important to business and the IT world, and to Dbvisit.

 

The event took place at the JW Marriott Desert Springs. There were three keynote speakers on Monday morning. Each of them were great in their own right. Paul Osincup lead off the morning talking about disaster recovery and burnout and how to cope with being told ‘no’ a lot. He had quite a lot of humor and anecdotes throughout his presentation. David Nolan from Fusion gave a great talk about not just having ‘a plan’ in the event of a disaster but being in control of your plan and program. He spoke about how to establish ‘Command and Control’ during a disaster and how you can be ready for disaster when it strikes.

 

Regina Phelps had some great insight into the idea of Return on Investment (ROI) regarding Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans. Too often organizations say that DR is just not in the budget. Regina showed us that there is not only ROI in having a DR plan but a new term, Value on Investment (VOI). The testing and the plan is usually worth the investment alone. You can find out what is going wrong often by testing your DR plan. She stressed the value of testing and also talked about how to put the true cost of DR into perspective when talking about the business and the brand etc.

 

After the great opening, it was lunch time which had ‘birds of a feather’ lunch tables. I joined the ‘software services’ table. I got to meet some interesting people and got to talk about a database that I had not talked about in a while, InterSystems Caché. I think the guys were surprised I knew about Caché. During the rest of the lunch hour I talked to the many different vendors. There were probably 40-50 different vendors; everything from DRaaS companies, companies that sell DR planning, Business Continuity vendors and a host of consultants were present. Lots of good conversations were had.

I attended two sessions in the afternoon. One was by Joe Kocinski from Ace Hardware. He spoke about how they REDUCED IT costs going from tape backups to data replication. It was great to see the many different technologies that they used and how over a period of years they were able to reduce their operating costs, capital costs and data center costs. Not only did they save money… they were able to reduce their RTO and RPO. Joe took us step by step showing us how they did it.

 

The next session was by David Halford from Fusion. He spoke about sequence planning. This is probably an important step that many IT departments skip. What servers do you bring up and in what order? Do you have a plan for which machines are critical? Do they need to be started up in a certain order? Do any systems have dependencies? And is that all mapped out? Sequence planning is a great thing that all IT departments should be doing.

 

Tuesday was all about sessions. Richard McClure from SunTrust had a great session focusing on bringing the business and technology teams together. Too often the teams are working in silos, but just learning the other team’s lingo can improve the business. Often you can discover something that you thought was critical isn’t and vice versa.

 

Philip Bigge from Ripcord Solutions talked about something that is probably often overlooked. YOU are prepared. All of YOUR systems are DR ready. But in this interconnected world… are your vendors ready? Do your vendors have DR programs? What are their SLAs? What about their RTO and RPO timelines? Great questions to ask all of your vendors as we so often outsource different facets of our businesses.

 

Of course, on Tuesday evening there was a party! Thanks Stategic BCP for the good food, good music, good conversations and good times. Fast forward to Friday which was all about the wrap-up. Robert Chandler from Lipcomb University had a fantastic talk about risks, reality and perception. It is amazing learning about perceived risk vs actual risk. He spoke about how these perceptions come about from a physical and societal viewpoint and the different ways that we can help combat them.

 

Mike Errity from IBM had an amazing talk about Application resiliency in a Hybrid world. Cloud, on-premises, hybrid, and relationships… all mixed together. Mike referenced a recent IBM/Forbes Insights research study with points from over 350 companies. It was a really great conference for me. I learned a lot beyond my typical sphere of ‘just protecting’ the database. It expanded the scope of what I think of in terms of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. I will now understand more about what they mean and contemplate how they affect not just the IT department but companies as a whole.

 

It was a really great conference for me. I learned a lot beyond my typical sphere of ‘just protecting’ the database. It expanded the scope of what I think of in terms of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. Seeing the ‘big picture’ allows me to see DR from the perspective that it fits into the whole company and not just the IT department. Talking to partners like Kingsbridge (http://www.kingsbridgebcp.com/) about how having a proper plan is so important. A part of having that plan is using tools like Kingsbridge Shield so that the plan can be shared, continuously improved and kept in a central location that is readily available.

 

Dbvisit’s Business Continuity and DR solutions are on our website. Our solutions are focused on being a go-to for anyone in need of a Business Continuity or DR solution for their Oracle Standard Edition databases. If you need to discuss Business Continuity plans for your whole business or need a tool to organize your DR plan get in touch with our partner Kingsbridge (http://www.kingsbridgebcp.com/). Please also get in touch if you would like to discuss your options with us. We are always happy to help.