Jim McNiel is Falconstor's President and Chief Executive Officer
Website URL: http://www.falconstor.com
I am a huge fan of the human spirit. Specifically, I am repeatedly impressed by the kindness and generosity of our neighbors. In the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, all our employees and friends are working together to recover from a devastating storm. We are all measuring our inconveniences in degrees. The luckiest have power, hot water, and heat. The worst off have lost their homes. Most of us are somewhere in between.
As I write this entry, there is an extension cord reaching across my driveway from my neighbor’s generator. My brother is driving up from Florida in his truck full of generators and cans of fuel. There are numerous friends, colleagues, and business partners sitting in the FalconStor training room using our network connections and power.
In times like these, you learn to appreciate the joy of a single 100-watt bulb and its amazing ability to illuminate an entire kitchen. You are reminded what a luxury it is to have hot and cold running water 24/7. Mostly I think we are reminded of how easily our daily lives can be interrupted. While New Yorkers have an unbelievable spirit and generosity that is difficult to match, it is important to remember how much easier it is to brave the storm if we are prepared.
Hurricane Sandy hit us with 50- to 90-mile-an-hour winds. I cannot imagine what we would be going through if she had been a Category 3 hurricane. We are currently told that we should have our power back in 10 to 15 days. What if it were a month or more? I think it is time that we all spent a little bit more of our free cycles thinking about preparing for times like these.
With two hurricanes in two years, Long Island may have a lot more to deal with in the near future. My father always said, “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best” – to FalconStor, as a data protection company, this should be second nature. We strive to anticipate such possible interruptions and be prepared for them. I can only say that we would all be well served if we conducted this planning not only in our business lives but in our daily lives well.
I am thankful that our employees and their families are all safe. I am thankful that we are fortunate enough to be able to provide assistance to our community and neighbors. Disaster preparation has made this all possible. I hope we can all use Hurricane Sandy as a teaching moment so that we can be better prepared for such events in the future.
Why do we take the time and money to gather all our sales professionals in one place for a week? In two words: collective intelligence.
One of our company’s key values is teamwork. The reason we believe in teamwork is the simple fact that the collective experience and knowledge of the group is far superior to the smartest human on the planet, let alone in the room. We gather to get smart. We gather to learn from each other and solve problems using a massively parallel system – our collective brainpower
In 1989, while working at Archive, the world leader in quarter-inch tape drives, Bernie Wu and I handed over a floppy disk and a QIC-02 controller to an obscure company in Roslyn, New York. In two weeks' time, a young developer named ReiJane Huai, integrated that code with his invention and delivered to us the world's first client/server tape backup application.
While Bernie and I continued to struggle with engineering delivery schedules at Archive, Cheyenne Software and ReiJane exceeded our expectations and rapidly turned ARCserve into a viable tape backup solution.
Little did I know that this rapid engineering development style was the hallmark of one engineer and a harbinger of many events to follow. In the early years of my time at Cheyenne, an amazing pattern emerged. I would visit prospects, secure requirements, and Rei would turn the code around often before I left the customer site.
I love the data protection space. How many disciplines can be reduced down to two simple metrics? The metrics I speak of are recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). These two measures truly break the entire process down to its bare fundamentals:
- RPO refers to data at risk measured in time. For example, an RPO of 60 minutes indicates that you could lose up to an hour’s worth of data or all of the data generated in a 1-hour period. In more simple terms, the RPO is determined by how frequently the backup operation runs.
- RTO is a target. It indicates how much downtime you are willing to suffer before a complete system recovery. An RTO of 180 minutes means you will need to wait 3 hours before you are up and running again.
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