Disaster Recovery, Trial by Fire

Posted by Martyn Shiner on November 11, 2011

It’s well known that a backup isn’t really a backup until you have to restored it and is workable again. We regularly do this at uzERP, moving backups of various instances of our app around and rebuilding them to ensure that they’re workable after a restore. We also try to make our application light on dependancies so if needs be uzERP can be installed on a very basic server.

Yesterday we had our first trial by fire (literally) when our sponsor company Severn Delta were prevented from entering their offices because of a serious fire in another building on the same industrial estate. This incident obviously causes a major issue to a busy company especially considering deliveries and collections are scheduled throughout the day.

We were able to take the backup of Severn Delta’s uzERP instance and put it onto a different server, one that was available for Severn Delta staff to use from outside of the office, enabling them to get information such as schedules and contact details in order to minimise the impact of this incident on the business.

We took uzERP out of the confines of the Severn Delta office which means if the power were to be cut from the building the system would still be available, as we’re putting it on a server that has nothing to do with their office, thus lowering risk of the system becoming unavailable.

Of course uzERP is web based, so staff could access the system via a smart phone as well as any computer connected to the Internet. Server based printing is of course out of the question, however saving, viewing, emailing and local printing are all available. Being able to quickly deploy uzERP onto a new server is incredibly handy, especially in a disaster situation.

We often get asked if uzERP is cloud based, the simple answer is yes, so long as you’ve got an appropriate web server that is exposed to the Internet. We try to build uzERP with as few server requirements as possible, with features such as printing, email (et al) unlocked when extra requirements exist.

With this in mind if a disaster were to occur it’s fairly easy to access uzERP from an alternative location, enabling you to get to your crucial business data as soon as possible.