Scientists have been predicting geomagnetic storms for some time now. They estimate that the adverse impact of the incipient solar storm will be around $2 trillion. Blasts of electrically charge gas traveling at five million miles an hour is expected to disrupt technology infrastructure and communication networks in the next few months.
Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado, Boulder and internationally known weather expert, said that the solar storms are indications that the sun is coming back to life. It had remained in a quiescent state for several years since the early part of the 20th century. The communication issued by him to the press, pointed out that solar flares experienced over the last four years have disrupted ground communications on the earth every time. The solar storm that is in current focus is classified as the Class X flare and has spewed billions of tons of charged particles toward the earth in what is called coronal mass ejections that will ignite a geomagnetic storm in Earth’s magnetic field. Dr. Baker further stated that while technology will be susceptible to the impact of space weather, it will help us evaluate the robustness of the systems we have built.
How will backup/recovery and storage technology be affected? Energetic particles spewed out from the sun will interact with the magnetic field surrounding the earth and increase ionization in the ionosphere, 100 to 1,000 km above the earth. The particles will cause misoperation or equipment damage and induce strong electric current in long conductors, such as power lines and pipelines causing power system outages or pipeline corrosion. Technology systems may consequently fail and thousands of petabytes and terabytes of data in storage may be at risk. This will be a kind of risk that no one has faced before and the extent of damage will remain speculation till after the event.
In the circumstances, there is a wide spread apprehension regarding digital disaster and disaster recovery personnel across the globe are intent on securing enterprise data redundantly and at multiple levels to ensure recovery in case disaster strikes and all data in a particular server or system is wiped out beyond recovery! They agree with caution that it is the intelligent and the most adaptable, who survive disaster. They strongly believe that it is better to be safer than sorry. So, if you have not yet prepared for disaster, it is better to start now.