A Disaster Recovery Plan is something we all hope we never have to use.
After more than 20 years in the I.T. Industry we can say we have seen every kind of disaster that can affect a Business. Those disasters have included:
Fire, localised flooding, general water damage, electrical short damage, equipment failure due to heat, corrosion and other environmental conditions, rogue employees and disintegrating partnerships.
Why is a D.R. Plan Essential?
Businesses that have a Disaster Recovery Plan can quickly and effectively recover from adverse events.
The ability for a Business to do this can mean the difference between survival and failure.
Prevention is better than Cure.
The best plan for dealing with disaster is to prevent as many disaster risks from happening altogether. Obviously some situations are out of our control, however, some causes of Disasters can be prevented and as such should form part of any Disaster Recovery plan.
Elements such as: timely maintenance of equipment, replacement of aging or worn devices or components before they fail, suitable security and monitoring of systems and procedures.
What does a D.R. Plan involve?
At it’s simplest, a D.R. Plan can be simply backing up your Business data to one or more backup devices. More copies of your data is always better, however a key element is ensuring that those backups remain current. That means making sure you have a routine in place so that your backup devices are regularly refreshed with current copies of data and files.
The easiest way to ensure this happens is to use a Backup application that automatically backs up your data and files to your preferred backup devices.
For D.R planning assistance
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Can the Cloud be useful in D.R. Planning?
Absolutely! The Cloud does provide great options for Disaster Recovery planning. There are many very good backup and recovery services available to supplement your Disaster Recovery plan.
Notice that we said “supplement”. We believe Cloud backup services provide good options to include in your D.R. Plan, however we do not recommend relying soley on a cloud based D.R. Plan. Especially when your down time tolerance is limited.
We have providers we prefer for various D.R. scenarios. We’d be happy to advise you on which service would suit your needs best.
What does the Recovery in a Disaster Recovery Plan involve?
Backing up your data and files is only one part of the Disaster Recovery Plan.
What to actually do when a Disaster hits is just as, if not more important, when making a plan to protect your Businesses I.T. systems.
Things that need to be considered are:
What are you going to recover to?
Depending on extent of the disaster, the recovery process will vary. The issue may be something relatively simple such as data hard drive failure.
If you have good backups or a redundant drive structure, replacing the faulty drive and copying back or rebuilding your data should see a fast recovery and minimal downtime.
If the computer has suffered a system drive failure, the recovery time may be short or extended depending on the type of backups used in your D.R. Plan.
System Images will reduce the recovery time substantially but the backup procedures will need to plan for this recovery method.
How much disruption and downtime is acceptable?
A disaster is going to mean disruption and possibly down time to parts of your business. How much disruption and down time you are prepared to accept will influence what type of disaster recovery plan you implement.
A key element of this is whether the system is mission critical or not.
A business might have zero tolerance for downtime for some systems, in which case a system that provides 100% system fail-over would be required.
For other platforms, acceptable downtime may be next day or several days. The method of recovering those systems can be planned to take longer and hence have a lower cost of recovery.
How long will it take to replace hardware?
If important hardware fails, replacement of that hardware might take longer than is acceptable.
If you need hardware to recover data to before your business can return to full operation, any delays in obtaining hardware can extend the period of disruption to your business.
There are different ways of mitigating this type of issue and they need to be considered in your Disaster Recovery plan.
But Wait, there's more!
There are many other factors to consider when creating a Disaster Recovery plan. For assistance and advice in developing an effective D.R. plan for your business please contact us to discuss your situation.