State, Local Agencies Can Strengthen Disaster Recovery through IT Modernization

For the city of Beverly Hills, it started with Katrina.

While New Orleans is more than 1,900 miles away from the small California city known for gorgeous weather, wealthy celebrities and high-end shopping, the mistakes made by that region’s state and local governments in the wake of the catastrophic category 5 hurricane served as a wake-up call.

Since that 2005 event, according to StateTech, Beverly Hills city leadership has taken disaster recovery a top priority. In recent years the city has built a pair of data centers in geographically distinct regions (for Southern California cities, earthquakes are a top threat, so each data center is built on a different set of faults) with redundant network connections.

While building data centers was the right move for Beverly Hills, many other local and state agencies have neither the expertise nor the budget to expand their own data center footprint.

Yet every local government and agency today understands the critical need for robust disaster recovery plans, whether it’s to protect against natural disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes, or human-created disruptions like a ransomware or phishing attack — or even mundane failures like a broken water main.

And as more cities adopt “smart city” initiatives, offering more city services to residents online, and collecting that much more data, it is mission-critical to make data security a priority. Disaster recovery preparedness, which starts with accessible data backup, is the foundation of business and smart city continuity.

Moving to the cloud

For those city and state agencies not looking to expand their own data center footprint, and in fact may even be searching for a way out of legacy on-premise data centers, moving to the cloud is more and more often the answer.

Almost half of government organizations are already using cloud services, according to Gartner, which foresees double-digit growth in government use of both public and private cloud services through 2021. State and local organizations are looking to the cloud to deliver more services, more efficiently to residents, while also achieving some cost savings.

In addition to the demand from residents and local leaders alike to drive cost efficiencies in the face of rising expectations for enhanced digital interactions, state and local IT leaders are also tasked with maintaining (and ideally increasing) security and compliance standards to protect residents’ critical data and services, while also figuring out how to get out from under aging data centers and legacy applications, which can hold them back from implementing the technology-enabled innovation and analytics stakeholders demand.

Against this backdrop, governmental organizations can benefit from an expert, trusted partner to guide them through every aspect of continuity planning and disaster recovery, especially as part of larger IT modernization efforts.

Rackspace can be that partner.

Specialized state and local solutions

We bring to the table more than 15 years of experience delivering solutions to all levels of government, including half of all federal cabinet level agencies. More recently we’ve created a specialized state and local government practice to meet those organizations’ unique challenges.

With Rackspace, you get a team of unbiased experts across a range of leading cloud and infrastructure technologies — built on a compliance-ready framework and backed by ongoing managed operations, continuous monitoring, security services, living compliance documentation and audit assistance.

Rackspace government solutions and services meet organizational as well as federal disaster recovery and continuity guidelines. Our FISMA-certified managed offering is built to the rigorous requirements set forth by the federal government for disaster recovery and continuity of operations.

Our certified data centers maintain a geographic separation of more than 500 miles, in accordance with FISMA/FedRAMP requirements. In addition to providing disaster recovery capabilities, our solution also provides adherence to rigorous federal government standards for compliance and security.

Whether it’s disaster recovery, infrastructure efficiency, legacy applications or security and compliance — or all of the above — Rackspace can help your agency assess, plan and implement the IT modernization today’s stakeholders demand.

Want to learn more about disaster recovery as part of broader business continuity planning? Join our experts for a free, on-demand webinar, “Minimizing Data Disruptions Through Business Continuity Planning.”

During this webinar, our experts will:

  • Define the scope of data continuity, including disaster recovery and mitigation
  • Discuss common causes of service interruptions
  • Show you how to identify the right data continuity solution for your organization
  • Define tiers of disaster recovery, including multi-tenant DR and full-featured solutions
  • Share strategies for handling complexity and other DR issues.
Jeff Valdes supports Rackspace Government Solutions; he is responsible for state and local government strategy and business development. Before joining Rackspace in 2013, he spent five years as a technology consultant to the Department of Defense, directly supporting various agencies and military branches. Before that, he spent nine years on active duty as a Naval officer and attack helicopter pilot. Jeff is a certified business continuity professional with an MA in IT Technology Management from Webster University and a BA in Marketing from Cedarville University.

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