Disaster Recovery Testing and Why They Only Turn Left in NASCAR

The logistics of planning a response to the unforeseen is a gamble. Humans are terrible at predicting what can go wrong and even worse at describing such things.

But you know what tech-minded people are really good at? What they — not at all secretly — really love most? Figuring things out. Unfortunately we also really hate admitting defeat.

That diametrically opposed psychology puts us in a terrible way when disaster strikes. We see two scenarios — either “It’s just 10 more minutes to get it back! You’re nearly there!” Or, the potential risk is considered low and the cost of losing your data by going to a replicated environment or backups is just too high. In my experience, however, no one is as objective under pressure – even the adrenaline junkies who may face shrinkage of the hippocampus from frequent epinephrine parties in their grey matter!

Now I understand why they only turn left in NASCAR.

When doing market interviews to help us build an awesome user experience for our new HOSTING Customer Portal , one of the interesting things we have learned is that almost everyone is afraid of the failover button. Our customers have practically begged us to make it red. Not because anyone had ever actually initiated a failover inadvertently (there’s been a secondary confirmation for that all along). But just the concept of having to abandon — however temporarily — the primary site brings people to the brink of panic. It shouldn’t!

Portal Pic

Surprisingly, many of our customers taking advantage of the intersite replication capabilities of HOSTING’s cloud platform were not performing periodic failover tests. Without any previous exposure to how things would behave, these customers were afraid to click the failover button. All of the benefits of a disaster recovery plan are for naught if you can’t see yourself pulling the trigger when the time comes.

For more on disaster recovery and failover testing, checkout HOSTING CTO, Matt Ferrari, in this on-demand webinar.


The number one reason why people didn’t want to test failing over? Concern for how they would return operations to their preferred primary site. So one of the first things we released into the new Portal was the ability to manage your disaster recovery plans and, in a first for the hosting industry, the ability to automatically re-protect your environment and failback to your primary site — all through the portal with the click of a button.

Ok, it’s really two clicks. But still… we’re pretty fired up about it. The question is, are you? Let us know what you think.

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