Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss
Ok, here I can agree with your assessment. Retooling a facility is not the same as establishing an entirely new one. That was the kind of contingency planning I am hoping the Sony and the others have in place.
Your pipe break example is not applicable in this case, however. To make it similar, the pipe break has to not only flood out the office, but the IT facility and the local Internet NAP in the process, clobbering cell towers and collapsing microwave transmission towers leaving only satellite communications in the short term. Now set yourself up to handle this twice over, test it twice a year, and you are now DR certified.
For the record, the offsite facilities in New York and Denver belong to IBM and we are leasing capacity in their data centers. We maintain synced copies of all our major systems on their storage facilities (mirrored SANs) and have a set of instructions for the staff there on deployment of those systems on their mainframes to cover us until the on-call staff from our office can be flown there to supervise. Generally, in the case of a hurricane, when the Emergency Operations Center is activated to level 2, they are flown to those facilities ahead of the storm.
And when I said we have three facilities geographically spread out, I was talking about locally in Miami-Dade County. The facilities in upstate New York and Denver are secondary and tertiary to the ones in Florida. Hence the term "disaster plans for disaster plans."