Deciding What Is Mission Critical

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC, specializes in data security and remote data backup services

From Anne Clelland:

In Before Brush Mountain Data Center There Was No RAS, I wrote about Doug Mauer's coining of a new IT acronym.

Fully appreciating a new IT acronym takes a little bit of “you had to be there.”

I was "there" – in business in Web 1.0.  Remember "robust" and "ubiquitous"? 

In addition to terms like those, Microsoft certifications were all the rage then – in Tampa, anyway – and considered the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in network administration.  The certifications were exam-based and sequential, so a friend and I bought the first thick exam prep text from, studied a certain number of chapters solo, then met weekly to discuss LANs and WANs.

I unearthed the first text for the first exam, Networking Essentials.  On the inside cover, in my earnest handwriting, is my name and the date:  August 1998.

I took and passed the Networking Essentials exam and the NT Server 4.0 exam, enough to become a “Microsoft Certified Professional,” the coveted MCP – one of those IT acronyms - but I didn’t feel passionate about continuing.  To quote Jim Flowers, director of VT KnowledgeWorks, it didn't "light me up."  My friend earned many sets of letters, including MCP and MCSE, but after she let me help her build a server from a box of parts, I always think of her as A+.

What also lingers from those days is the imperative of data back-up and data protection.

By 1998, most small and medium businesses had already been through storing mission critical data on their brand new, top-of-the-line stand alone computers, having the hard drives fail, and losing all their data.  They had learned to back up data on floppy disks, then Zip disks, then tape drives, even on external hard drives.

In the lightning capital of of the nation, Tampa, businesses would learn from electrical surges, hurricanes, and fires that storing backed up data on-site was a no-no.  They would tell their stories at networking meetings and everyone would "Tsk-tsk" and say, “We really should look into storing our data off-site, too.”  But then they would decide something else was more mission critical than mission critical data – and what were the odds of their businesses getting hit by lightning anyway? – and leave that mission unaccomplished.

Here I am in business again, this time in Web 2.0, and being reminded by Doug Mauer of Brush Mountain Data Center of the data management and data security best practices I learned a decade ago.

If I lose my data, I lose my business.

That's mission critical.

Thanks for the reminder, Doug, and thanks for providing mission-critical, business-saving services.

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC, specializes in data security and remote data backup services.  Offering server co-location and offsite disaster recovery protection, Brush Mountain Data Center serves as your company’s “data vault in the mountains."

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