While natural disasters have been a consideration of technology departments for a business continuity plan, pandemics may have not been on the radar. Having adequate backup systems in place is smart, but backup alone does not provide adequate redundancy, reliability or the accessibility necessary to recover after disaster strikes. Nearly 95% of businesses will not survive catastrophic data loss. The question isn’t whether you can prevent a disaster, it’s how quickly your business can bounce back after a disruptive event.
But what exactly does “having a disaster recovery plan” mean and what options are available for your business? You may “backup your data” each night. Well, there’s a difference between backing up and disaster recovery from a reliability, accessibility and cost standpoint. We explain it here.
So how do you continue business as usual? Here are five things taking backup and disaster recovery into account to ensure survival of your data:
1. Backup Regularly. Implement a disaster recovery plan that creates a series of incremental online data backups so you can easily restore your files to an error-free state. Utilize redundant firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software to ensure that security breaches are protected against. Improve your internal processes and quality assurance activities to prevent human error.
2. Rely on the Experts. An ideal disaster recovery plan would place your production servers in a top tier data center with no single point of failure on the power and network connections. Your disaster recovery backup servers would be at another data center at least 45 miles away in case of a severe natural disaster. This would ensure that you’re virtually protected from any downtime, and you have put your business in position to survive the most brutal IT disasters.
3. Rely on the Cloud. Cloud computing can be the start of a solid base for backup solutions, giving you near real-time data replication and high availability of stored data. Your backup solution should use high-speed storage and high-volume IOPS to ensure you don’t spend hours or days waiting for backups to “thaw.”
4. Prioritize your Applications. Know what data you need recovered immediately and what data can wait hours, days, weeks to get back. The data needed immediately should utilize a disaster recovery as a service – based plan (DRaaS). This type of plan could include restoring data from a cloud-based backup storage device to a cloud-based compute tier with application-ready storage. DRaaS should be able to create virtual instances of applications and then, without moving the data, create an accessible volume for the virtual instance to use. The goal is to return the application to production as fast as possible.
5. Test Early and Often. If you have a DRaaS plan, testing can be as simple as pushing a button that isolates the network and starts recovery. Without DRaaS, DR testing often involves moving IT staff to an off-site location for a weekend and manually running a disaster recovery drill. Either way, you better make sure your plan works today, tomorrow and five years from now so regular testing is an essential part of recovery.
If you don’t have a plan in place, now is the time. Thanks to ever-improving technology, cloud computing has created an opportunity for a new kind of flexible, scalable, and affordable offer – one businesses have been waiting for.
Get the right amount of protection you need, when you need it at a price you can afford. Talk to our experts about how to establish and achieve business continuity goals quickly and cost-effectively – consider it an insurance policy for your business.