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Disaster Recovery in Turkey

Planning your disaster recovery is an essential part of any business, simply because you can never know when something might go wrong. Although you might not be able to predict a disaster, you can always know how you will recover from it: the procedures, steps and manpower needed to get everything back up and running efficiently. Take a moment to consider how your business would operate with missing data. The likelihood is the answer to that is quite poorly, especially in the modern age of vast data storage.

A survey carried out by EMC in 2012 found that disaster recovery planning is not in good shape in Turkey and other parts of the Middle East. The survey found that 82% of organisations were unconfident that they could recover after a disaster and 64% had lost data or had system downtime in the previous year. Those are both huge figures and totally unacceptable. 52% of respondents were using backup tapes for their disaster recovery – although a reliable method for archiving in some situations, it’s a slow method when compared to disk or cloud backup.

Disaster could strike through hacking, fire, flood or storms, but for Turkey specifically it lies on an earthquake zone and the country has suffered from some strong earthquakes in the past. These natural disasters can cause a great chance of data loss, so having a recovery plan in place is vital.

Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency has a requirement for all banks to have business continuity plans that are approved by their board of directors and be tested at least once a year. Although a step in the right direction, that certainly doesn’t help the aforementioned statistics.

Although the survey results may surprise, Computer Weekly reports that some Turkish businesses actually have extremely good disaster planning techniques, despite perhaps being the minority. One such company is Teknosa, the largest technological products retailer in the country. The firm has an ISO 22301 certificate covering business continuity and has a disaster recovery plan to match.

This disaster recovery plan requires constant testing with a three-step process for doing so. First of all, a test is run in the IT department. If successful, it’s then tested across all the departments and staff. Finally, any problems that occur during the testing are then fixed and a final test is performed.

Teknosa makes use of a private cloud environment, with virtualisation and cluster solutions for their data recovery. The company plan to move all their data storage to Bimsa by the end of 2014 in order to cut back on the costs of their IT budget.

“For the time being, our disaster recovery plan of using cross datacentres allows us a business continuity of 10 minutes of RTO and RPO. The critical data set that we specify by auto-tiering systems is stored in at least two different datacentres at all times,” says Tunç Şenyol, CIO of Teknosa.

Teknosa are a stand-out example of a firm who take their disaster recovery seriously, but it’s clear from the EMC survey that many do not. Always ensure that your firm has a strong and well-tested disaster recovery plan in place to ensure that downtime is always kept as minimal as possible.


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