Disaster recovery plan – what is the best solution for your business?

Among the most important business continuity measures a business needs to consider is its Disaster Recovery plan. This holds true for companies around the globe, but even more so for entities operating in a country where earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters have been known to occur. Having a good Disaster Recovery plan in place provides peace of mind every business should aim for.

Disaster Recovery Definition

A Disaster Recovery Solution, such as the one Sun Data World (SDW) offers, is a well planned, tailor made disaster and loss precaution that ensures business continuity in the case  a disaster event should ever occur. It ensures that when the customers primary IT system goes down, due to technical failure, human error or a natural disaster, the secondary system activates from the SDW Data centre, allowing critical applications to continue working.

Let’s take a bank for example. If the primary system fails due to a flood in the Data room, the banks clients would not be able to access their banks services such as online banking, ATMs, or even worse, client data could be permanently lost or damaged. Payments both incoming and outgoing, would be postponed or stopped. Total chaos would strike with full might. One hour of this kind of crash could potentially cost the bank huge amounts of money, or worse, it would cost them their reputation.

Disaster Recovery is a system used to mitigate such risks.

Disaster Recovery Options

There is more than one way to set up a recovery plan. Most decision makers see Disaster Recovery, like insurance, where you spend a lot of money on it and hope you will never need it. But if disaster strikes, your investment surely pays off. As you will see Sun data World has a different approach, billing customers only for actual resources used.

Some companies spend heavily to make sure they never lose a piece of data or a beat of uptime as this might severely impact their business.  The following three options are among the most commonly applied approaches to Disaster Recovery.

  • Building your own Disaster Recovery Centre at a secondary location

You may choose to take this project in-house. In order to do this properly, several important steps should be taken. You will need a detailed assessment of the assets and data that needs protecting and to define your tolerance for downtime and data loss. An estimate of the risks is next. How likely is it that a natural disaster may strike your primary location? What events may occur to crash your system? Do you have the proper HR and communications procedures in place. You will want to ask yourself what applications and data fall under which priority group. What is your tolerance for downtime for each? What is your tolerance for data loss for each?

Once you know the extend of the risk you need to mitigate, you need to build the secondary location optimised for the level of priority you defined. If you defined that all data and applications need to continue working, then you would have to completely replicate your primary system. If you define a certain smaller quantity of data and applications that need to be functional, you will need a smaller capacity DR.

However you decide, this option is very costly. You will need to lease or buy a secure secondary site, procure hardware, install power redundancy measures such as UPS’s and diesel generators, employ staff to maintain them and perform regular checks making sure the site is fully ready in case disaster strikes. This would all cost a pretty penny and would lay idle until the time the unwanted event occurs.

  • Colocation

Another option that is less expensive but also effective is to colocate your hardware for Disaster recovery purposes. You still need to procure hardware, but you wont have to build another site and would not have to invest in resources that you can have provided to you, by the colocation provider. The colocation Data centre would provide stable redundant power, including backup generators, cooling systems for the racks, and trained personnel to help you with routine care.

The hardware at the Colocation centre would be your own, and your access to it will be easy. Although the servers and hardware are yours, you would not need to employ and train full time staff to maintain them or the facility, considerably lowering your overall costs.

Managed in this way, the colocation option is a less expensive option, and in many ways preferable to building your own secondary site.

  • Cloud Computing and Storage

Probably the most effective Disaster Recovery option comes using Cloud computing. Some of the most important advantages include doing data backup in the cloud; keeping important data away from your main site where it is not subject to the same power, network, and weather fluctuations.

A good cloud-based disaster recovery solution should include Cloud computing resources (VPS and storage) to replicate customer’s IT systems, provide storage facilities to keep your backup data, and it should also be able to guarantee availability of computing resources to recover your system as fast as possible.

The biggest advantage in using a Cloud based Disaster Recovery solution is that you create a complete solution but only have to pay for the resources being used.

The Sun Data World Disaster Recovery Solution allows customers to pay continuously for the storing of the data and data backups but does not require customers to pay for the Disaster Recovery until the time a Disaster event occurs. Even then, you would pay only for the time the full solution was used. This provides customers huge savings and substitutes unnecessary CAPEX investments into hardware, facility and so on.

Best Practice in Disaster Recovery

We can define best practice here as those practices that companies have used widely to successfully navigate through disasters and recover quickly.

The following five steps are seen to be good and universally used –

  1. Make a written plan.  – Advanced preparation is worth its weight in gold. Document the plan and distribute it to everyone who needs to help get systems back running, making sure people have access even when systems are down;
  2. Keep data and backups offsite – A full copy of your data should be housed at a remote place which will not be hit by the same disaster that is affecting your primary site.
  3. Test your plan regularly – Schedule and rehearse actual scenarios regularly in order to make sure your plan will work.
  4. Updating the recovery plan as your business evolves – Your disaster recovery plan needs to adapt when your business or technology changes. An update to the disaster recovery plan must be included whenever you make any important changes. You should also, as much as possible, keep your cloud storage and computer provider apprised of any change;
  5. Make a plan for getting back to normal after a failover – Disaster Recovery plans, when they are successful, retrieve your backup data, applications, and systems and get them back to work. However, as soon as that happens you should be looking to return to a normal state of operations. This requires planning too.

Disaster Recovery from Sun Data World

Sun Data World, the first Ethiopian Data centre, is there to provide the pace of mind you need as a business, even in a Disaster Recover scenario. SDW was conceived and built to meet all these needs efficiently and often providing considerable cost savings to the customer. Sun Data World understands you need to have the best possible solution for Disaster Recovery.

Sun Data World’s Disaster recovery Cloud solution makes sense across the board, and our colocation service allows you to install your hardware at a state-of-the-art data facility and begin saving money immediately while boosting your output and efficiency!

Sun Data World is adapted to the needs of a modern world, matching the unprecedented opportunities and of Ethiopia, while being mindful of it impact on the environment. Sun Data World is powered by 100% renewable energy.

In considering your options for keeping your data safe and your business running, even in a crisis, you will want a Data centre that offers you fortified Cloud services, colocation, top of the line security, purpose-built facilities, transparent disaster recovery programs, scalability, and – of course – cost efficiency.

For more information, please contact us today at Sun Data World.

The Ethiopian Cloud

5 Key Advantages of using a local cloud provider

Getting your Cloud computing choices right is a dilemma that many companies today face. How do you choose the best provider for your business? Should you use an international provider? Will their customer service help you solve local issues? If you’ve never used cloud resources, before making the decision which cloud provider to select, you must understand the benefits of using cloud services over on premise resources.  To help you,  we need to have a deeper look into the details of each possibility and how they cater for your company’s needs. In the end, it is a question of time and money, but also of quality, flexibility, support, security, scaleability and peace of mind.

The benefits of using cloud computing has been praised in thousands of articles around the world. It represents the best way to access and use top of the line hardware and networking resources without having to invest in your own data room.  Cloud services are billed on-demand or by subscription, meaning no upfront payments are necessary, rather you only pay if and when you use the service. Cloud computing is far more scalable than using your server room resources as you can increase or decrease resources in minutes. Even in the best case scenario increasing on premise resources takes days or weeks even months. Cloud computing provides more benefits, such as high security (both physical and network) very high data durability, lower costs for electricity, cooling and often connectivity. Just to name a few.

Where is the Cloud?

Data is not really stored in the sky, rather it is kept in various Data centres around the world. These Data centres are either a) owned and operated by a single tenant, b) provide colocation services where the owner and operator leases space and shares resources  with the tenants or c) are used for providing Cloud services.  

When the term ‘Cloud’ was coined, it was done to indicate an anonymous and ubiquitous server space without a physical location. It was away from your premises, but it could have been down the street or on the other side of the planet. The point was that the location of the Data centre providing your Cloud services, did not matter. Today we realise this is not really true. Location is important.

Data centre location does matter.

Due to Ethiopia specific reasons, the location of the Data centre for Ethiopian customers, is even more critical than in some other countries.  Ethiopia has a lack of foreign currency which makes it hard to pay international cloud providers. In addition, non of the largest cloud providers have a local footprint, meaning customers would have to access their cloud from Data centres in Europe or South Africa, incurring very high international connectivity costs. Not to mention that they don’t provide local customer support and improve local communities by increasing employment, transferring know-how and investing locally.

What to look for in a Data centre?

A good Data centre will have a state-of-the-art facility with redundant power supply, efficient cooling system, early fire detection, a very advanced fire suppression system, very high physical and network security measures operated by skilled staff.  

A great Data centre will have all of the above, providing customers peace of mind through very high security, redundancy, data durability and flexibility, but will also have certificates for design and operation from the Uptime Institute of tier III level or above, will conform to international Data centre standards while running on 100% renewable energy all while supporting its local community and helping companies manage their digitalisation processes.

Now that you have a better idea as to what to look for in a Data centre, let’s have a look at the advantages of working with a local Cloud provider.


International Cloud providers charge in hard currency and often only accept credit card payments.  By using their services, you would have to deplete your hard currency reserves for services you can now purchase locally at the same or higher quality standards.

Sun Data World: We make sure that you get the value for the service you pay for. Having your Cloud solution here in Ethiopia means that you can pay for it in Ethiopian Birr and maintain your hard currency for other important uses.  Add to that a more flexible system of billing, depending on your choice of either on-demand or subscription models, all completed through local bank transfers. Our Data centre and Cloud solutions, being locally positioned, benefit from lower supply costs which allow us to transfer savings to you, the customer and be very competitive in our pricing.


A local Data centre ensures far lower latency and greater speed of access to your data. This is because the data is cached locally and does not travel through an infinite number of kilometres. Companies who use international providers in various places around the world learn to accept the latency as part of the price of doing business, or are lucky to have their location close to a Data centre.

Sun Data World:  Lower your latency by working with a Data centre closest to where your audience is.


Choosing a Cloud provider is no longer a linear proposition. A good provider can propose hybrid solutions combining Public Cloud with Colocation services or customer on premise hardware creating a Hybrid cloud – tailored to your needs.

Being locally present allows more flexibility in working with customers to provide solid, taylor made Hybrid Cloud solutions.  A financial services provider in Addis Ababa, for example, may wish to keep certain critical data in a dedicated server on their premises, but they use Cloud for the other 90% of their data needs to which their wider network of partners can also access if needed. Being able to integrate on premise and Cloud solutions is a significant benefit allowing better scaleability and resource optimisation.

Sun Data World: We believe technology should never become an operational bottleneck or cost you in lost profits and or time. It is for this reason that we have decided to combine a Colocation service with Cloud solutions to provide a Hybrid cloud with benefits to our customers such as faster time to market, better scaleability, hardware optimisation and more.


Scalability, or your ability to grow or decrease your hardware resources at a moments notice, is a major benefit for companies that have large peak hour usage or need to change their capacity often. A startup that is growing rapidly may need to upgrade its capacity on a monthly basis. A large enterprise might find that their in-house resources cover their average usage requirements, but that during peak hours, it can’t provide the same level of service.

Sun Data World: We shorten your capacity expansion from months to seconds. Forget about long procurement processes and complicated installations. With us you can stop worrying whether you purchased the correct configuration or the correct amount of servers, racks, network hardware. With Sun Data World, you can configure you’re virtual server in minutes or even seconds.  And if you find that you chose the wrong one, or that you selected a larger capacity than you need, simply close that server.


Most major Cloud providers have a system of vendor lock-in, where once you become their customer, it becomes very hard to leave.  As a customer, you do not want to be put in a situation where you are dependent on a provider, unable to use another without substantial switching costs.

Sun Data World: We make it easy for you to use our services, but also to use other providers as well. The driving force of Sun Data World is to act as your partner in Cloud computing and data management. In this way, it is in our interest to make the process as easy for you as possible.


Having the ability to integrate with existing Cloud solutions or platforms you use, provides flexibility and ease of work.

Sun Data World: We provide our application programming interface (API), which allows your developers to manipulate remote resources through protocols, specific standards for communication that allow different technologies to work together, regardless of language or platform.


Sometimes you simply need someone to call, to help, that understands your language or specific localised issue.

Sun Data World: We hire local technicians who can support you in whatever issue you may have, whether acting as your remote arm to handle hardware issues for Colocation customers or simply to help you with setting up and launching in the Cloud.


Data centres running on traditional power sources greatly contribute to the ever present issue of Global warming and Climate change.  At more than three percent of the global electricity supply and about two percent of total greenhouse gas emission, traditionally powered Data centres have the same carbon footprint as the aviation industry. Although most international Cloud providers are working hard to reach sustainable operations, running on renewable energy, they are still far from the target.

Sun Data World: We run on 100% renewable power. Sustainable development is in the core of our business and our values. We believe it is our responsibility to operate in a sustainable manner, keeping our carbon footprint low and maximising energy efficiency. It is our duty to be responsible to all our stakeholders, including the environment, supporting our community.

Introducing the Ethiopian Cloud

Sun Data World, the first Ethiopian professionally managed Data centre and Cloud provider, has been conceived to meet all your Cloud computing and Hybrid Cloud needs as well as provide you a high quality Colocation service. Sun Data World exists in fact, to help you digitalise, lower CAPEX expenses, increase output, lower your IT risk and more.  Our colocation service allows you to install your hardware at their state-of-the-art data facility and begin saving money immediately while boosting your output and efficiency! Our Cloud services will provide you additional resources at a fraction of the price of buying new hardware.

For more information, please contact us today at Sun Data World.

Best Solutions for data storage and compute resources

When it comes to data storage, the issue on everyones mind is safety. Safety in protecting data from machine failures, corruption or loss as well as from attacks and theft.  Most companies are faced with the dilemma whether to store it on company premises or in a professionally managed Data Centre.

Doing business in todays world means being able to store and compute vast amounts of data. Whether we are talking about application databases, CCTV footage, man or machine created data, the capacity for its safe storage is constantly growing.

A large company with substantial resources might feel safer by keeping all its data close, storing it in its own server room, managed by its own technicians. But is this feeling real? Or is it is safer to use the resources of a professionally managed data centre? This article aims to help you cut through the pros and cons and help you make the best decision for your company.

What is a Server Room?

To begin, we need to clarify terms. A server room is a place, on customer premises, adapted to keep and maintain servers stacked in racks as well as network equipment and other necessary hardware. The room is usually adapted for that specific purpose. It needs to have a reliable power supply, backup power in the form of emergency diesel generators for power redundancy, batteries and UPS’s to stabilise electricity and help at times of short power outages, fire suppression systems that can hold the fire from not spreading outside and extinguishing it before too much damage is done, redundant connectivity, cooling, network security and many other features keeping the hardware and data secure. The air cooling system and room arrangement should keep the servers cool allowing for the hot air to move out and not circle back to overheat the servers. It should also filter contaminants and other particulate matter from the air keeping the room clean from dust or other tiny matter that can cause hardware malfunction. The server room, being within your place of business, is easy to access by your personnel.  The in-house IT team ensures the safety and security of your compute resources and data.

What is a Data Centre?

 A Data Centre is an entire building or group of buildings that are dedicated to the same function as a server room. A dedicated Data Centre, is a safe and secure purposefully build facility providing Colocation and / or Cloud Computing services. It very likely serves a number of customers, housing equipment, storing data, acting as a backup disaster recovery site and more. Many data centres provide just the tele-housing infrastructure, including power and air cooling, while customers bring their own servers.  Others provide a complete service including rental of physical servers. A Cloud Providing Data Centre will go a step further to provide all these services in the cloud, offering Virtual Machines instead of physical servers.

Data Centre customers are companies looking to use professionally managed IT services for their betterment, making best use of the benefits provided. One such benefit is scalability.  A company starting its operations today might outgrow its data storage and compute resources in 3months, 6 months, who knows? Data storage and compute resources should never be seen as a bottleneck for the growth of a company. But how does one know today what resources you will need on a daily, monthly yearly level? What will be the average usage? What will be the usage at peak levels? What if the procurement process for a rack and servers lasts weeks or months? What if a company can easily handle average usage, but fails to handle peaks?

In the end, it is your business and you will know what is best for your data and what compute resources you may require. No one can take that decision for you. But in order to help you make it, let’s look closer into the details and make sure you make a well-informed decision.

Server Rooms – Pros and Cons


One of the main claims that senior managers make about having their own server room in house is the feeling of control. When the server room is right there on your premises, you alone retain control of things like security and application uptime. Having the kind of control to know the person who maintains your data room, may be a priority for you. You can be fairly certain that only your own vetted personnel will have access to the data, and that access will be given in the manner in which you decide. Moreover, you are able to make changes in the access hierarchy as often as you may need.

Having your own server room also gives purpose to developing an in-house IT team to manage those resources.

Having this type of control, however, involves certain risks, such as dependancy on your IT staff, management focus on IT rather than core business, a CAPEX investment without certainty as far as what capacity that investment will cover in time and whether the company has over-invested or underinvested and more.


A server room is a costly resource. Aside from the question of actual real estate and the amount of space you are able to dedicate to a server room in your company, there is the upfront investment cost and maintenance with no economy of scale. Building the room, installing the power and cooling systems, the backups and redundant hardware, and everything else that goes with it can be a considerable expense. To cater for future use or even peak usage a company might need to overcompensate with space, backup power and cooling, not to find itself in 6 months buying another diesel generator or having to move to a bigger room due to lack of space. 

Once you have built up your primary system, you have to consider business continuity in the case of a natural disaster such as flood or fire. Having your data and its backups all in one place means that recovery after such a disaster may be impossible.

It is important to think about the people who will be maintaining and servicing your hardware. In most cases, it is the same IT department that you need for developing innovations and working on projects. Unless you are able to employ a dedicated maintenance team, they will have to split their time between the server room and their regular work. This could cause slowdowns or lost opportunities. The same people once they leave the company may leave a void hard to fill as the system is dependent on them and the unique knowledge they have as they assembled and maintained it.

Professionally managed Data Centres – Pros and Cons


Using a Data Centre has many attractive advantages, for small and medium sized companies, startup businesses growing exponentially fast, large companies with complex IT systems that need heightened security, capacity optimisation and cost efficiency.

One of the biggest advantages of a Data Centre is that it provides cost efficiency through economies of scale. Because a Data Centre is typically a much larger purpose-built facility meant to house hardware and provide services for numerous external customers, it achieves cost savings on power, connectivity and hardware that it transfers to its customers. A company can procure all these individually, but it would be very hard for it to match the rates a Data Centre gets simply due to sheer volume.

In addition, a Data Centre can provide higher quality service with regards to security, redundancy, durability, speed and scaleability when compared to a data room. Often a data room is one that is adapted to the purpose out of need, but Data Centres are built from the ground up for that purpose, enabling them to provide much more reliability and security. Power systems are installed with the specific need of the servers in mind, including backup generators, surge protection, and other safeguards. The cooling and air filtration system is also designed from the beginning to the needs of the server bank.

Capacity planning is much easier when working with a Data Centre that provides Cloud Computing, as resources are made available to customers in a matter of seconds. If you need to increase or in fact decrease your compute or storage capacity, you can do it with a push of a button or automatically in the case of peak hour scaling. No long procurement processes, no CAPEX investments. Some Data Centres also provide very flexible billing, with significant discounts for medium to long term commitment.

In terms of security, Data Centres invest in the highest network and physical security. They provide DDoS protection included in even the basic services and your data cannot be access or seen by Data Centre technicians as it is kept encrypted.  A Data Centre, moreover, is usually modular, allowing for data replication, keeping it safe in several redundant availability zones. All of this is maintained by a staff of experts from the Data Centre provider, meaning that your IT department is free to perform other critical tasks.


If there is any real disadvantage to working with Data Centres, it may be that they are in very high demand and that they may not be able to accept your business at the time that you need it. This can easily be solved by planning in advance and starting the migration process to Colocation or Cloud Computing on time.


 While it is impossible to make a recommendation for your company without knowing its specifics, it is clear that the advantages of working with a Data Centre far exceed that of having a data room on your premises. In the final analysis, the main advantage of having a server room is in the feeling of control over your data and compute resources. It might seem as though a company would feel more in control over who has access to its data the closer it is to being under the same roof.

However, a stronger argument is that a Data Centre, whose main purpose is to provide a safe and secure environment for your data, has a more vested interest in doing its very best for you, the customer, so it can expand its business and grow its customer base. There is no margin for error when data safety and security is at stake. 

The chart below recaps a few of the topics we discussed here:

FeatureServer RoomData Center
Security: how safe is your data?Security provided by the in-house IT team, at the level they are able.Physical and network security, DDoS attack ready, data replication, data encryption, redundant power supply and connectivity.
Access: who can have access to data?On-site, depending on company policyOnly the people given permission by you
Maintenance: upkeep, physical facility, and administrationYour responsibility and cost to maintain systems, security, power grid, etc.Data Center administers maintenance, fees split among clients, 24/7 presence
Costs: what’s the bottom line?CAPEX investment + monthly maintenance costsOPEX
Company focusIT + core businessCore business
Hard currencyYes, for hardware purchasingNo
Speed to marketDepending on procurement process from days to weeksIn minutes
Personnel: who will staff the servers?Your payroll, potential split work, potential risk when they leave the companyProfessional Data Centre trained technicians, A/B teams
Structure: what kind of building will it be?Adapted, higher risk due to lower redundancy, one availability zonePurpose built, high redundancy, multiple availability zones
Expansion: how much can I grow?Limited space, high costUnlimited scalability
InnovationLimited to company ability to keep up with constant new hardware and software upgrades Constant new services being researched and launched to become more attractive to customers and better than the competition, based on latest technology.

Pro Tips: When Should You Move Your Data to a Data Centre?

If a Data Centre just makes a lot more sense for you, when would the best moment be to migrate? It’s always good to start the process before you need the resources. However, you should make the move when:

  • Your in-house server room is no longer adequate to your needs
  • Your peak capacity significantly increases over your average capacity
  • Your IT department is spending too much time working on server maintenance and not enough time developing new products
  • Your business is expanding beyond your current capacities
  • You need to keep CAPEX low and need to move to an OPEX model
  • You need the data room space for other purposes and cannot relocate your servers easily on your own property
  • You need a bigger data room
  • You have concerns about the power systems in your building, putting your data at risk of surges or outages
  • You need to increase data security
  • You have a need to share your data with more than one remote location around the world
  • The costs associated with your data storage are becoming too high to justify maintaining your own data room
  • You want to modernise your hardware and increase scale
  • You need to implement a better Business Continuity system
  • You had an experience in-house with data loss, data corruption, lower than acceptable uptime

 Find Out More

There are many kinds of Data Centres offering their services globally. What you need to consider is the location of the Data Centre, that it is close to where your users are; that it offers Colocation as well as Cloud Computing in case you need to relocate your hardware or completely move to the Cloud; that it has certificates from globally renowned institutions like the Uptime Institute, that it provides top of the line security, data durability, scaleability, and – of course – cost efficiency.

Sun Data World, the first Ethiopian Data Centre, has been conceived and built to meet all these needs as well as anticipate many others. Sun Data World exists in fact because you need to have a good answer to the question of data room vs. Data Centre. A Data Centre like Sun Data World makes sense across the board. Our collocation service allows you to install your hardware at our state-of-the-art facility and begin saving money immediately while boosting your output and efficiency!

For more information, please contact us today at Sun Data World.