Re: A remote access company without automatic fail-over...
Not necessarily. Automatic DR fail-over is a mistake often made by amateurs. It may be viable when your secondary data centre is a few blocks away, where you can have guaranteed redundant links and synchronous replication or mirroring, but that's more a case of High Availability than Disaster Recovery. It's a very bad idea when your DR site is 500+ miles away.
If you've ever experienced a major disaster, like an earthquake or flood, you'll know that it can be hours before you really know what's going on. Having the IT systems start their own recovery while the business continuity staff are rolling out the BC plan to the company, can make things much worse. A switchover to a remote site can take a long time, when it involves things like fsck, database recovery/restart, DNS updates, etc. You don't want to do it unless you have to.
Indeed, that could be what happened here, an over-eager decision (manual or automatic) to switch to the remote site, when if they had simply waited for the backup power to come in they could have had just a 5-minute outage like Shania Twain.