There have been scientific predictions on the geomagnetic storms for a while now. Scientists have estimated various unpleasant impacts of the solar storms to be about $2 trillion. The damages caused by electricity charged gas travelling at 5 million miles per hour is anticipated to disrupt both the communication technology infrastructure, as well as, communication networks for many years to come.
A renowned Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics expert, Daniel N. Baker, PhD from University of Colorado, commented, “I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did. If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, the earth would have been in the line of fire.” This is particularly worrying as the sun has been in its dormant state for more than a century. The comment, made by Dr. Baker to the press, noted that solar flares that took place for a few years in this decade have disrupted ground communication.
According to Wikipedia, solar storms are classified as A, B, C, M or X. Class A being the lowest and class X being the highest (as in Richer scale for earthquakes). Each letter has its own scale. For instance, X1 is less powerful than X9.
The earth has experienced class X sun storm several times. Class X sun flare is so powerful that it did radiate billions of electrically charged particles to the earth. Such discharge is known as Coronal Mass Ejections that light up geomagnetic storms in the magnetic field of the earth. Dr. Baker went on to state that “while technology we use every day will be susceptible to the impact of space weather conditions, it will help us evaluate the robustness of the systems we have built”.
Is there any relation between data backup / data storage and solar storms? The vigorous particles that are discharged from the solar storm and the sun will certainly interact with the surrounding magnetic field of the earth. This will help increase the ionisation in the ionosphere for 100 km to 1,000 km above the earth. The discharged flares could cause equipment damages and increase the chance of strong electric current in long conductors, including power lines and the pipelines, which could eventually result in system outages. As a result, technological systems could fail and data could be lost; and colossal amount of data could be at risk, including cloud backed up data. This is a new kind of risk that we have not encountered so far (unlike Tornadoes, Floods, Earthquakes) and the risk level can not be determined at the moment, as it has not happened yet, and unfortunately, the impact can only be known after the sun storm actually hits the earth.
Given such circumstances, companies around the world have been paying extra attention regarding their digital data and disaster recovery. Cloud backup and disaster recovery service providers around the globe are working harder than ever before to secure and protect organization’s data redundantly at multiple levels to make sure that data is recovered in an event a disaster strikes and there is a massive data deletion of the entire system. Therefore, it is the most intelligent and adaptable company that will be able to survive a disaster. In addition, it is more beneficial to be safe than to be sorry.
If you have not prepared for disaster — whether for sun flare related disasters or otherwise — you need to start right now.