Planning for scheduled downtime

When it comes to downtime, customers traditionally have made disaster protection the top priority.

"The major focus has always been on the catastrophic event," said David Alvarado, a vice president in the Global Business Continuity Services division at Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek). But certain segments, he added, "have done a nice job at looking at all downtime, not just catastrophic events."

Alvarado said the financial services industry and the government sector are among those "focusing on how they can accomplish scheduled downtime without necessarily impacting the availability of services."

Michael Croy, manager of business continuity at Forsythe Solutions Group, said customers are pushing beyond disaster concerns to embrace "strategic optimization," implementing a redundant architecture to better absorb downtime events.

But technology is not the last word in minimizing the impact of planned downtime.

"Frankly, it's good planning — having a methodological process for going about a maintenance event," said Ron Lovell, storage practice leader at Greenwich Technology Partners.

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