It’s 2022 and a Korean web giant only now decided to write a DR plan

Kakao discovers the importance of resilience after fire wiped out its services

South Korean web giant Kakao, a twelve-year-old company that boasts tens of millions of users and enjoys a central place in local life, has decided the time is right to develop operational resilience resources and processes.

If it seems a little odd that a company of that scale lacks those items, cast your mind back to the October datacenter fire that took Kakao offline for days.

That incident saw the Korean Google's e-commerce, voice, transport, gaming and fintech services all suffer significant outages. The most impactful failure was that of the Kakao Talk messaging service, which is widely used by government agencies and has assumed the status of de facto telecommunications infrastructure in South Korea.

The impact of this particular outfit going dark was therefore so severe that South Korea's government sternly criticized Kakao and its CEO resigned.

Yesterday, the chastened org outlined its plans to prevent such messes in future.

At a company presentation, Goh Woo-chan, co-chairman of the subcommittee on recurrence prevention measures, unveiled the strategy to create tech teams, develop a business continuity plan and build disaster recovery facilities.

Again: it is a little odd, in this day and age, that a company of Kakao's scale doesn't have those items in place already.

Kakao had, at least, started work on its own ₩460 billon ($350 million) datacenter before the fire, because it recognized the need for greater resilience and more capacity.

The blaze that took out the datacenter in which it was a tenant proved both the wisdom and the lateness of the decision to build its own bit barn.

The theme for the event at which the org announced its resilience efforts was "Our Social Mission" – a nod to the fact that its role in Korean life transcends the mere pursuit of profit.

The event therefore also saw Kakao promise to detail its plan to "increase digital responsibility" and outline its approach to "technology ethics" at an undefined future moment. ®

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