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Data Center Handbook by Hwaiyu Geng

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35Data Center Disaster Recovery and High Availability

Chris Gabriel

Logicalis Group, London, UK

35.1 Introduction

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” This is the profound and universal truth, set out very succinctly in a series of laws known variously around the world as Reilly’s and Strauss’ and most famously in many Anglo-Saxon countries Murphy’s law.

This law states that anything of a mechanical nature will fail no matter how well designed, well constructed, and well used it is. And, most importantly, in Murphy’s law, it will go wrong at exactly the wrong time, always.

Murphy’s law was coined by Edward Murphy, an engineer working at Edwards Air Force base in the United States in the late 1940s on various projects including g-forces and their impact on the human body during massive deceleration events. His son later stated that his father’s approximate phrase was something like, “If there’s more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then somebody will do it that way.”

When the anything in question is the physical repository for an organization’s business applications and business data, the data center, this law poses some significant and troubling questions to those that have designed and built the physical structure, those that designed and built the enterprise IT architectures that reside within it, and those that operate both of these business critical assets on a day-to-day basis. Those that face the most troubling question are ...

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