Thursday, July 22, 2021

What happens when the flood comes?

Maybe you have seen it in the news or are affected yourself...

There was a flood catastrophe in Germany, due to heavily rained and overfilled dams.

But that's not what this blog post is about. 

The question is: How well is your network/server infrastructure set up to function again as quickly as possible in such a crisis?

I'm not talking about backups here, everyone should have those anyway! I'm talking about the structure and the software you use.

A small example: 

Is the MySQL server IP hardcoded or is it stored in an INI-file? Is a URL used or a domain controller? 

Is internet access needed for smooth functionality, because the server may have to synchronize data with an external server?

What if you change IP addresses due to an emergency solution?

I just imagine how your thoughts circle over your own network structure and creates an OMG...

What I've learned in the last few days:

  • It's just terrible how dependent we are on the Internet these days.
  • It must be possible to replace ground Internet access with a mobile solution at any time.
  • Document folders and paper storage are good. (Still necessary in Germany, unfortunately). But you can't digitize too much! Especially when you're looking for an insurance contract and can only wave behind the corresponding folders as it just disappears into the floods.
  • A pile of paper according to the motto: I'll scan that when I have time for it... Will never exist anymore.
  • Software that needs a fixed IP must at least be able to load this information from an INI-file.
  • Software that can only handle IP4 must also be able to handle IP6.
  • Software that gives permissions based on the Mac address needs to be redesigned.
  • Software that requires a domain controller or a fixed network name must be redesigned.
  • If a local server is needed on the network, it must be possible to replace it with a cloud solution.
  • Password storage software that encrypts all collected access passwords must have a simple memorable password to open the information!
  • IP telephony is crap.
  • If there is no electricity and no internet, all-important numbers must be stored in the cell phone. (Preferably also cell phone numbers because your opposite surely also has IP phones that do not work without internet and without electricity.

Well - this is all doable. And I'm sure I will find the time to do this ASAP.

We were lucky this time. No employee is injured and everything else is replaceable. Unfortunately, there are far too many who have been hit much harder. My thoughts are with all those who lost much more or everything.