Organizations that prepare for disruptive events create disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity detailed planning processes. These events might include hurricanes, tornados or simple power outages.
Disasters that create IT downtime are numerous and common, spanning the physical and logical, the man-made and natural. Organizations must be resilient to these disasters, and able to operate in a disruption of any type. Studies on business continuity and disaster recovery have shown that unplanned events of most concern were power, telecom, and physical infrastructure – more so than natural events such as fire or weather.
Here are three key steps to help ensure your data remains safe in the event of a disaster that creates unforeseen IT downtime.
- Validate your DR business requirements by reviewing the results of a Business Impact Analysis (BIA). This helps you identify those IT assets and data that are the most mission-critical;
- If you’re evaluating Disaster Recovery as a Service, determine what you want in the cloud and verify the vendor can support your requirements; and
- Get references and ask them for opinions about the service, lessons learned and ask to see confirmation – via reports and attestations. Make sure to ask if the data centers are compliant with HIPAA, PCI-DSS, etc.
Once you’ve taken these three steps, then you’ll move into DR planning. DR planning is complex and spans three key areas: technology, people, and process. Planning begins with a business impact analysis (BIA) by application and workload. You’ll likely begin first with infrastructure, and then networking, and then you’ll extend to recovery by application tiers. Each application tier should have an established recovery time objective and recovery point objective based on business risk.
It’s also important to remember that you may run into DR challenges that can hold back your organization. Some of the biggest challenges for many organizations include:
- Lack of Budget, funds and resources;
- Lack of top management commitment, buy-in and support;
- Staffing difficulties (lack of appropriate qualifications); and
- Lack of time.
The good news is that with a little foresight and planning, you can ensure your data remains safe and secure in an unexpected event. Business continuity is an investment in your business survival, not just an expense.
About the Author: Brian Cauble is Director of Sales & Marketing at Tech Vault [insert http://www.techvault.net/] – Vermont’s first commercial, LEED certified, carrier neutral, managed data center & co-location facility. Tech Vault provides solutions to issues that are unplanned like power, physical infrastructure, expertise, and security. To learn how your company can benefit or to explore your options, please contact Brian at: Bcauble@techvault.net, 802 862 5364 ext. 116.