Extended outages happen, and when they do, the cost to your business can be severe. You are at risk if you: have no business continuity plans, are using tape or virtual tape backup for disaster recovery, or have an active/passive disaster recovery plan (which may encounter failover faults, is difficult to test, and provides a false sense of security). To avoid risk, you need to go beyond the reactive active/passive disaster recovery model and into the proactive sizzling-hot-standby or active/active models. This paper looks at the causes and consequences of prolonged downtime, and the various business continuity architectures which may be employed to minimize them. Most importantly, it illustrates the total cost of downtime, and demonstrates how to avoid becoming a “CNN Moment” company. Focusing on real-time data replication, we discuss the pros and cons of asynchronous and synchronous replication technologies. So, the next time that unexpected downtime occurs, you will not need to cross your fingers and hope for the best.