Disaster Recovery Challenges in Facility Control Systems

As you know, when we say, “disaster recovery” in this blog, we mean IT disaster recovery. If it doesn’t have information technology in it, then we leave it to someone else to blog about. There’s more than enough going on in the IT world concerning DR for us to discuss. However, the borders between IT and non-IT are blurring.

Or rather, IT is permeating things that traditionally never comprehended computers or knew what networks were for. Take buildings, for example. The intelligent building now exists, together with its various digital facility control systems. But how well does our current vision of DR apply to these new developments?

There is a big difference between buildings and clouds (as in cloud computing) that shows us we may need to tread carefully when planning disaster recovery for IT-driven buildings. Clouds move.

Buildings don’t. if you have already transferred your business IT to a cloud platform, you may not even know where your IT operations are anymore – not withstanding regulations that may oblige you to keep your systems and data within national boundaries.

If your virtual machines go down, you can restart them at the click of a mouse. If the cloud data centre goes down, your virtual machines can pop up again in another remote data centre, and so on.

Buildings with their HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems, fire safety, ecologically friendly lighting, and physical security systems cannot pop up again in a different location, or not half as easily.

Even if the platforms controlling the different features of an intelligent building are located in the cloud, the sensors, activators, and machines making the heating start and stop, etc., are bolted down in one physical place.

If the IT-driven components, possibly including embedded hardware and software systems, fail, backup may not be possible in the way we know it for purely digital assets. Who said there were no challenges left in IT disaster recovery?

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