LightningMLS Insight is a series about how things work at RMLS™.

RMLS™ began disaster recovery/business continuance (DR/BC) planning in earnest in 2002. The events of September 11, 2001, brought home the absolute necessity for this kind of planning, as it did for many businesses. Of course, part of running a responsible business has always been planning for emergencies and contingencies, but that process was formalized for RMLS™ starting in 2002.

Our first attempts at documenting the steps for disaster recovery were a little clumsy and hard to maintain. We are now on our third iteration of our DR/BC plan, and have refined it to identify the response needed for various types and levels of events—a snow day or an RMLSweb outage to the loss of our corporate facility due to earthquake or fire.

Everyone at RMLS™ has a role in helping to respond appropriately to situations that threaten the safety of employees and the continuity of the services we provide. Of course, the highest priority in any crisis is care for life and physical safety of anyone present, if that is an issue. After that, attention goes to reducing loss of data and assets. Since our service is critical to our subscribers, our goal is uninterrupted service, so a focus on speedy recovery and communication are key elements of our planning.

Part of that speedy recovery is having a redundant database and servers for RMLSweb. In 2008, we moved our DR/BC servers from a location in Portland to a building in Roseburg, built in partnership with the Douglas County Association of REALTORS®. Data is continually replicated to those servers, and during maintenance mode each month, RMLSweb actually operates from Roseburg while the main Portland servers receive their patches and updates.

Disaster recovery planning is not something that you can do once and forget about. It needs to be part of the business plan and a living, changing process

The next post will focus on listing data accuracy. If you have any questions you would like to have answered, I encourage you to post a comment.

Photo: iStockPhoto/Endurodog