Posted on 15 May 2019

New coffee machine

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A disaster recovery plan in action

A few weeks ago, the coffee machine in our office died.

It was a Dolce Gusto – one of the original models with the big bubble on the back. Held enough water to make an entire round of coffee – and boy was the coffee good.

Like an old sturdy work horse, it carried on without mither or complaint for over 12 years. But over that time, our team expanded, and the amount of coffee it was making on a day to day basis increased until one day… ‘POP’.

Disaster struck. Our reliable old Dolce Gusto was Dolce Gone’o.

However, the optimists in us saw the silver lining – this was our excuse to buy a shiny new coffee machine.

A Nespresso.  

We’d really gone up in the world (*mainly as Dolce Gusto don’t have a shop at St. Pancras). The new machine was quicker, tasted better, sounded better, and even came with a milk frother to make that Latte texture we love.

But not everything ran smoothly.

Our coffee machine recovery plan had its pitfalls – we still had lots of the old capsules but no machine we could use them in, the new machine wouldn’t be delivered from our Amazon Prime Business account until the next day, and hushed whispers began to circulate amongst twitchy staff “can the coffee ever be as good?!”

Could we really survive the day without a decent coffee?

The answer is yes, yes we could. Ultimately, we had our old system to fall back on – instant coffee and a kettle. Although not the roasted barrister style coffee we’d become accustomed to, we’d keep calm and carry on – our disaster recovery plan was in place.

Last week we visited a small business to review how their business was currently operating and what they could do going forward to make the business more secure and more efficient.

Our initial investigation uncovered a beige server sat in a corner of the office, with a tape drive and the tapes sat on top of the server. The server was functioning, doing what it had always done, but this was the equivalent of disaster suicide, rather than disaster recovery, for a number of reasons:

  • The tape drive is no longer manufactured.
  • The backup hadn’t been tested and the tapes were sat on top of the server offering no protection from fire or theft.
  • The paper-based backup files were stored in the same office.
  • The server was unsupported by the manufacturer.
  • The software was heavily bespoke and unsupported by the supplier.

We ran through a ‘what if’ scenario with the business, and as a result created a plan for a paperless office, a cloud-based file server and they are on the way to looking at the many different options they have for a new accounting package that can doesn’t require any development.

The coffee machine disaster meant downtime for only a day – we had our backup, and we were up and running the next day.

Take 5 mins today to look at your disaster recovery, and ask yourself – is it disaster recovery or disaster suicide? 

Get in touch

If you would like a review of your plans or just a general chat regarding your IT education and support, contact out team at [email protected] or call 01332 374444.