Every business owner and IT professional has a need to get a disaster recovery plan in place. Many times the expense prevents companies from investing in DR other times it’s the technology. Disaster recovery however is vital to a business. Businesses use information technology to quickly and efficiently process information. Employees use Email and VoIP phone systems to communicate. Electronic data is used to transmit data for orders and payments. Desktop computers, laptops, wireless devices are used by employees to create, process, manage and communicate information.
What do you do when the information technology stops working??
The impact of data loss or corruption from hardware failure, human error, hacking and malware not mention natural disaster make having a data backup and restoration plan essential. Businesses should develop an IT disaster recovery plan. It begins by compiling an inventory of hardware (e.g. servers, desktops, laptops and wireless devices), software applications and data. The plan should include a strategy to ensure that all critical information is backed up. Identify critical software applications and data and the hardware required to run them. Using standardized hardware will help to replicate and reimage new hardware. Ensure that copies of program software are available to enable re-installation on replacement equipment. Prioritize hardware and software restoration.
Document the IT disaster recovery plan as part of the business continuity plan. Test the plan periodically to make sure that it works.
Here are some recovery strategies to consider…
Recovery strategies should anticipate the loss of one or more of the following components…
- Computer or server room
- Hardware failure
- Connectivity to a service provider
- Software application failure or corruption
With those items in mind your backup should include cloud backup, redundant servers, backup hardware, carrier redundancy and cloud data recovery.
Priorities for IT recovery should be consistent with the priorities for recovery of business functions and processes.
Its important to do a business impact analysis and identify resources required to support time-sensitive business functions and processes. Some business applications cannot tolerate any downtime. For those applications utilize cloud solutions capable of all data processing needs, which run parallel with data mirrored or synchronized between the cloud and local server.
Develop a Data Backup Plan
Identify data on network servers, desktop computers, laptop computers and wireless devices that needs to be backed up along with other hard copy records and information. The plan should include regularly scheduled backups from wireless devices, laptop computers and desktop computers to a network server. Data on the server can then be backed up. Backing up hard copy vital records can be accomplished by scanning paper records into digital formats and allowing them to be backed up along with other digital data.
Cloud Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) is a new strategy for addressing your critical workloads. A business can continue to run production IT systems in its own data center during normal operations, but also have the freedom to spin-up an exact replica data center in the Cloud as the need arises.
Advantages to the business include:
- Leveraging the specialized operational expertise of a leading cloud infrastructure provider.
- Gaining a recovery data center with all the security and reliability from a top-tier cloud provider.
- Operationalizing the infrastructure costs it would incur with a “homegrown” disaster recovery solution.
- Adopting the flexible, pay-as-you-go public cloud model.
- Regular external testing of its disaster recovery plans.
- Most real IT downtime and data loss traces not to natural disaster but actually to errors in operational procedures, it is prudent to have the recovery data center provisioned by an independent operations team.
Disaster Recovery is a complex topic area and that there are many protection strategies to achieve the desired results. To learn more about the options available check out…..Disaster Recovery from On-site to Public Cloud and SD WAN for Carrier Redundancy.