It’s something you don’t want to think about but may happen nevertheless – a disastrous event risking continuous laboratory operations. As business processes depend on the data generated in the laboratory, downtime resulting from such a disaster should be as short as possible.
The word disaster sounds quite worrying; what kind of events are we talking about? In our case, it is anything endangering continuous operation of the IT infrastructure in the company, and thus the software systems in the laboratory, such as a chromatography data system (CDS). It can be anything from natural disasters, like fire, flood, or weather-related events, to man-made events, like cyber-attacks, politics, construction or sabotage, but also spontaneous failure of computer hardware.
To ensure continued operation at acceptable predefined levels after a disruptive incident, having a proper business continuity plan (BCP) is key. Business continuity planning is the process to develop a foolproof system for prevention and recovery from potential threats to your company that risk continued business operation. The disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a key part of the business continuity plan, describing how to recover and protect your business IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster and provides detailed steps on how to restart, reconfigure and recover the systems, software and network.
Chromeleon CDS provides its own load balancing and failover capabilities for the data, distributing the workload across multiple servers, creating an automated fallback system. The unique Network Failure Protection (NFP) ensures 24/7 software operation by:
caching important information required to run the software on local computers, to continue operation for up to seven days
running samples on the local XVault™ of the Instrument Controller to continue acquisition and prevent data loss in case of network outage, while being able to start new sequences
Also, the capability to shift Chromeleon software deployment to the cloud provides increased security, as cloud service providers take serious care of their data centers and you’ll get seamless data backup as data is stored in multiple places in the cloud, removing a single point of failure. All this provides maximum system availability during maintenance or disastrous events, without putting additional burden on the IT department.
Chromeleon software’s modular architecture provides resilience and scalability, adaptable to the needs of the business. And because of its modular nature, the considerations for a successful DRP are more focused on individual components, rather than making full backups of each machine. And of course, professional support to help you get back on your feet is covered with an enterprise support plan, which also includes product updates and access to resources and training.
If you’re faced with a disastrous event, it doesn’t have to be a disaster for your lab, as long as you have a sound business continuity plan and the right software to help!