Do You Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Disaster recovery refers to what a company will do, especially with its information systems, in the aftermath of an adverse event to quickly recover and resume to normal business operations. Any time that an unexpected event – data security breach or a natural disaster – occurs and interrupts the normal operations of a business, the business could lose money – lots of it. The damage could occur in a few minutes or a few hours. Some companies have died a quick death after a catastrophic event. When it comes to data backup and disaster recovery, being prepared for potential disasters is key to keep your business running. Keep these Disaster Recovery Plan steps in mind!

Step #1 – Admit you need a disaster recovery plan! Prior to a disaster ever occurring, ask yourself the following. Do you have a disaster recovery solution in place? When was the last time your backup was tested? How long does it take to recover from your current backup solution? How long can you realistically be down? One hour? One day? What is the financial cost of downtime to your business?

Step #2 – Be ready to face problems! The disaster moment has occurred—time to walk through the following steps:

  • Assess the problem and its impact on your business: Every disaster is different. Before doing anything, understand the underlying issue and how it may affect you. Is the issue local to one machine, or does it affect your entire system? Have files been deleted or are servers/workstations down?
  • Establish recovery goals. Recovery is what makes a disaster recovery solution different from a simple backup product. Plan your road to recovery. Restore the system, the data, or both? Should time be spent recovering files and folders before system recovery? Identify critical systems and prioritize recovery tasks. How long can your recovery take – worst case scenario?

Step #3 – Select the appropriate recovery steps. To get to your road to recovery, the appropriate recovery procedure must be followed. Think about which approach will best get you to your end goal: File restore. Local virtualization. Off-site virtualization. Remember to verify the recovery and confirm functionality with users. Once a recovery is verified, confirm that it interacts positively with users. Test network connectivity. Ensure all users can access resources and applications in the virtual environment.

Step # 4 – Plan restoration processes and review. If the original system(s) needs to be restored, decide which restoration process will work best – including the option of virtual machine restore. After it’s all said and done, take a step back and think about it: How well did your team do? What could you have done differently? What precipitated the failure? What ongoing issues need to addressed? What can be done better in future disaster recovery scenarios?

Keep in mind, disaster recovery refers to what a company will do, especially with its information systems, in the aftermath of an adverse event to quickly recover and resume to normal business operations. Any time that an unexpected event – data security breach or a natural disaster – interrupts the normal operations of a business, it could lose money. The damage could occur in a few minutes or a few hours. Some companies have died a quick death after a catastrophic event. When disaster strikes, the need to protect business continuity becomes everything. After a disaster, employees get stressed out and find it hard to make the best decisions, often with fewer resources. IT is where there can be extensive damage.

Without a disaster recovery plan in place, it can take days for your organization to restore normal operations – not a good position to be in when growing a competitive business.

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