By Brian Howard
When Anthrax Crashed SunGard's Direct Mail Lead-qualification Efforts, the Data Services Company Picked up the Phone and Hasn't Looked Back.
Of all that was lost in the wreckage of September 11, 2001, there was, miraculously, very little data on the casualty list.
Cold comfort, that.
In the weeks and months following the terrorist attacks, you'd have been hard pressed to find a soul, pundit or otherwise, willing to suggest any sort of silver lining, much less a financial data-related one.
But allowed a little distance, it feels OK to look back and marvel. It's more than a little amazing, given the concentration of financial services companies resident in the former World Trade Center, that those companies' financial records have remained mostly intact—and stories of peoples' financial portfolios thrown into chaos as a result of lost data have been practically nonexistent.
Disaster recovery was not a term that got much play in the general population before September 11. The sorts of events that disaster recovery systems are generally in place to protect against—power outages or even hurricanes and tornadoes—are commonplace enough so as not to raise eyebrows.
After September 11, public awareness of disaster recovery and its place in everyday life has increased.
Factor in the 2002 passing of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires financial services companies to protect their data and be able to access it in a very short period of time in the event of a continuity-interrupting disaster.
SunGard Availability Services in Wayne, PA, specializes in the services that large corporations need when faced with business continuity crises. SunGard deals not only with system and data backup, but with availability issues, with 35 brick-and-mortar and 40 mobile facilities that house "redundant" data centers into which a company's backed-up systems can be loaded and ready to go at a moment's notice.