I remember back in the 1990s, the folks from SunGard Recovery Services gave me a guided tour of their center city Philadelphia-based disaster recovery center. It was nondescript from the outside, housed within a 1940s-vintage building that was originally built to manufacture tanks. Given that heavy-industry legacy, the building was well suited for disaster management, built with reinforced steel-plated walls and flooring. The site was a sight to behold—rooms full of big-iron mainframes, and even sleeping quarters for the IT people who showed up two long weekends a year to run their DR drills.
That was how it was done in those days not too long ago, of course—backups for any system required a truckload of tapes, and in the event of hurricane, tornado, floods, fires and pestilence, the IT folks would schlep down to the DR center and reload all their apps and data into SunGard's machines from the tapes. SunGard had (and still has) many large insurance companies as its clients for these big iron weekends.
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