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Opinion: Disaster recovery site puts terrorist bull's-eye on

Opinion: Disaster recovery site puts terrorist bull's-eye on
Opinion: Disaster recovery site puts terrorist bull's-eye on 

By Steve Duplessie
October 30, 2006

What did you think about the disaster recovery facility being pushed to 
Wall Street firms by the state of Pennsylvania? -- B.L., Philadelphia

I thought it was the just about the dumbest thing I've ever seen. I mean 
really, are people stupid? The only thing missing from the news clips of 
the governor flying Wall Street mucky-mucks in a helicopter for a 
private tour of the facility was a big target painted on top of the 

Even better, this is a quote that came out of the story [1] the Boston 
Globe ran on it: "I think we're so close today that maybe the trigger is 
already pulled and the first shot is being fired," said state Rep. John 
Siptroth (D-Monroe), a prime backer of the Wall Street West concept. Are 
you kidding me?

I have no issue with the state of Pennsylvania building such a facility. 
I have no issue with them trying to fill it up. I have a huge issue with 
the fact that they were on TV flaunting the fact that they were trying 
to get Wall Street to agree to use their site for disaster recovery. 
What's the next move? Perhaps we could fly a Blackhawk with a bunch of 
generals in it from the Pentagon and persuade them to use the facility 
too? All on camera, of course.

The only mistake the terrorists made tactically by attempting to derail 
the U.S. financial systems by crashing hijacked airplanes into the World 
Trade Center was not having the second plane hit in Jersey City, where 
the financial services companies' disaster recovery sites were. Do you 
really think they would make that mistake again? Do we really need to 
advertise exactly where to strike if they want to bring the world's 
capital markets to their knees?

The act of 9/11 was the most gruesome display of the worst of humanity 
in the modern era -- but I firmly believe that those targets were chosen 
not only for their symbolism but also because the bad guys really 
thought they were going to destroy our capital markets, which would have 
an immediate trickle-down effect on every U.S. citizen and most of the 
civilized world. It was an evil plan, but it was pretty smart. The only 
thing they misjudged was the ability of those companies to get back up 
quickly because of their disaster recovery capabilities. They won't 
screw that up again. Let's not make it easier for them.

So, if you are a Wall Street mucky muck and you are committed to having 
your disaster recovery moved to Pennsylvania, I only hope you are also 
going to have at least one other site that you won't be so public about. 
Same goes for the government. If you are just a normal company 
considering adding this facility to your short list of DR suppliers, 
think again. Why not find some nice quiet facility that won't garner 
international interest from bad guys?

Dumb never learns.


Send me your questions -- about anything, really, to 
sinceuasked (at)

Steve Duplessie founded Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. in 1999 and has 
become one of the most recognized voices in the IT world. He is a 
regularly featured speaker at shows such as Storage Networking World, 
where he takes on what's good, bad -- and more importantly -- what's 
next. For more of Steve's insights, read his blogs.


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