Disaster recovery on blockchain with a hint of business continuity

Why should organizations care about disaster recovery or business continuity?

And what exactly is business continuity ?

I remember years ago

Flying to some middle of nowhere place, wondering why my company sent me out on some DR/BC project. Great I’d get to see a large healthcare organization.

It wasn’t in my wheelhouse at the time, but I knew about disaster recovery and backing up from being a software and database engineer. The business continuity part , the words made sense , but the overall meaning didn’t resonate.

What exactly did they need me to do here and for how long ?

So I read some books. I searched what exactly all this meant. I found some info , but Wikipedia of yesteryear was limited and you didn’t have medium articles to read. I think I was checking out some videos on revvr or what not because YouTube was in it’s early days and cat videos ruled.

So what is BC ?

Business Continuity essentially is planning for and creating processes to sustain and maintain your business operations in case of any disaster. Don’t lose money. Get things up and running as fast as you can.

It could be a flood or earthquake or cyber attack or anything really. Anything that shuts your business down for an extended period of time needs some planning for , preparation and testing and processes already in place to streamline your business during an emergency or disaster.

These days more automation and being able to “flip a switch” to never go “offline” is more prevalent than before. And the cloud has made it far easier to have backups and disaster recovery plans. But that’s not always just a cut and dry scenario.

It’s not a ‘let’s go find the reel to reel tapes’ and get the system back up and running, scenario anymore.

Yes, I did mention reel to reel tapes because once I worked on a government project where we did have reel to reel tapes. And this was in the early 2000s. Good old Tandem nonstop mainframes. Or not so good. But not so bad. Just old. Just slow. And Hard to find parts. But the reel to reel tapes were kind of cool.

So time to get this conversation back to the disaster recovery and business continuity plan on blockchain

Can it be done ?

Anything is possible , but should it ?

Yes and no.

Public blockchain makes sense in theory. I mean 10,000 replicated data nodes around the world. All ready and able at your beck and call. That is one heck of a DR/BC plan. Sounds like the perfect solution doesn’t it. Even Hadoop was really only a replication factor of 3 for most systems.

So you’re telling me my data is backed up everywhere really. All over the world. On 10,000 nodes. Or 5,000 nodes. All storing all my data and other software processes ? And documents ?

And if we used Ethereum, you could even add smart contracts to automate the processes and updates, throw in some oracle chainlinks to integrate weather apis or twitter news updates and switch over to some side chains to enable more advanced automated features. I’m liking this already.

So Really your organization and your customers wouldn’t even know a disaster occurred. It’s perfect.

So what are you waiting for ?

Use public ethereum and blockchain today.


you could always use private or permissioned blockchains. Could work. Maybe no gas costs.No worry about the public and access issues.Private ethereum or hyperledger come to mind as a solution to save on gas costs and public nature of the public blockchain.

But 10,000 nodes. And Around the globe.

Probably not.

Hyperledger fabric or sawtooth is Useful for some stuff. But unless it’s a consortium of large and small multi national global organizations who don’t really trust or distrust the others, think supply chains for agriculture or manufacturing or raw materials or pharmaceuticals.

Maybe they could work. But like your typical rdbms or nosql databases , you’re probably not 10,000 nodes strong around the globe. Especially all with the same exact data.

Even Yahoos impressive Hadoop cluster was only like 14,000 nodes and it’s not replicated 14,000 times. So mostly distributed and different data and pointers with a centralized namenode and a zookeeper. And probably not dispersed globally.

So let’s just plan , analyze , assess risks , backup , but really just always use , public blockchain and write clean great intelligent smart contracts to automate your entire DR/BR process.

And being it’s always on and I don’t even need to maintain or run the network or database ledger, it’s just a continuous business processing system. I don’t even need to think in terms of BC/DR.


Cheer for ethereum and blockchain.

Hold on.

So you’re telling me all of the DR/BC (at least on a technical and software and data side of things) has been solved by blockchain?

One day.


Except the Reality today, in 2019, is you can’t really store much real or big data on any blockchain yet. Some claim they can. Some claim they solved all the worlds problems in a day too.

Some just use Kafka or nosql databases and pretend it’s a blockchain. And faster better TPS to compete with Visa is great, but hashed links serve little purpose if the main data systems are lost or hacked. Can’t use IPFS for good if it’s just basic hashed metadata with disconnected links to the real storage Location.

There are promises. There are works in progress. And blockchain will one day solve some major BC/DR challenges. But right now it’ll be a hybrid. Some public. Some private. Some integrated with the cloud. Or on the cloud. Some integrated with sidechains and Kafka and NATs and Cassandra and Spark and Postgres. Or not.

The exciting part is trying to build better systems. Systems where BC/DR are all streamlined and efficient and a well connected community.

A community where even during a disaster , it’s not just about business continuity; it’s a community and a city and a state and a country and a global connected continuity that strives to build a sustainable thriving successful happy world.

Disasters are no joke. Save lives. Save data. Save software. Disaster recovery and business continuity are important. And blockchain can help.