Business plans cannot be effective and reliable without clearly outlined strategies for disaster management and recovery. Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is an entity specifically within a technologically-operated business. The blueprint has a set of well-laid out procedures which can be easily implemented by company personnel, to help the company recover from a catastrophe without suffering an irredeemable damage. This is an important document for any company in mobilizing recovery resources, rebuilding and resuming normalcy. Read more about disaster recovery in this Datasite Colo article here.
Is Your Data Center's Data Disaster Recovery Plan Effective?
- How Resistant is your data center to disasters?
The recent grounding of airlines caused by a persistent power outage across the U.S sent a strong signal to different companies on how impactful a disaster could be to a business and it’s survival. The sad part about disaster is that no one can identify them from a mile away and this is why disasters cause enormous destruction when there are less anticipation and preparation for the same. It is important to note that disasters are not only detrimental from a resource point of view but the longer the company takes to resume normalcy, the more its reputation suffers.
Companies operating in the Midwest, for instance, cannot downplay the dangers of floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, or snowstorms because these have always been major causes of enormous losses.
Regardless of any disaster whether hurricanes, floods, cyber-attacks, or any other natural disaster, having a solid disaster recovery plan, especially for your data center is necessary to be always ready to get back as soon as possible.
It is impressive to discover that most companies have learned from their mistakes or those of their competitors when it comes to disasters, most of them have a secondary back up or outsourced backups for risk mitigation. However, it is prudent to have an in-house disaster recovery blueprint, which can be constantly updated and evaluated to make it stronger to shield the company from any unexpected disasters.
- Business Resumption against Disaster regaining plans
Business continuity is the bigger umbrella and a disaster recovery plan is just an initiative under it. The extent of the damage caused by a disaster determines if the business can resume normal operations soon or it might take a little longer.
Resumption of normalcy is not reliant on data recovery plans alone but also management efficiency, resources, and availability of personnel. However, for a business which operates almost 80% of its business activities online is set to suffer a huge blow should its data center suffer destruction, downtimes likely to be experienced lead to a huge amount of losses, which might prolong for days unless a well-structured recovery plan is in place.
Therefore, business continuity is arguably important but not so without prioritizing data recovery missions. It is necessary not to confuse the two entities but merging the two plans makes it easy for a business to safeguard itself and build a strong muscle to withstand the aftershocks of any disaster. A sound disaster recovery plan should not only have data recovery strategies but also business continuity plans as well.
- How Reliant is your Data Center’s Disaster Recovery Strategy?
Recent statistics show that business loses more than $700 billion annually in the U.S due to data center hiccups. Preparation and protection of your business against any disaster whether floods, fire, or any other risks should be complemented by a competitive data recovery strategy to enhance the safety of the business.
Risk evaluation exercises within the company are useful in the identification of loopholes in the company’s data protection mechanisms and the establishment of possible threats to the company’s data centers, examining the extent of the damage should the centers be affected and the estimated cost to reverse the damage. Consideration of back up resolutions is also highly recommended in this scenario.
- Tenets of an Effective Disaster Recovery Blueprint
The best way to review any disaster recovery plan is by using the following procedures to establish how effective a recovery blueprint is for any data center and the protection of data therein. Assessment of business impact and the detrimental effects of any disaster on the company’s operations, financial muscle, and its brand is necessary.
It is also vital to establish the impact on data centers, how costly it will be for the business to resume normalcy and recover any lost data in the process.
Disaster Recovery documents should also be able to identify key areas to give more priority during a disaster. Taking note of important inventory is recommendable, this will be a great guide to find out the much-needed equipment to enable business continuity. For businesses that operate a huge percentage of their operations online, they are probably not well-placed to deal with prolonged downtime.
A disaster management plan should be able to tell how long a business can withstand downtime before its reputation goes down the drain and it becomes costly to recover and repair the damage.
Induction of teams and people involved in the execution of a disaster recovery plans is significant for the effectiveness of the plan. Training should be accompanied by a great communication strategy within the teams and employees across all levels of management. Having trained teams makes it easy for recovery plans to be rolled out, especially with clearly outlined and divided roles for all the individuals involved in the disaster recovery group.
Training of employees to clearly understand your disaster management blueprint regularly, the establishment of an inclusive communication line will not be enough to guarantee the effectiveness of your data center disaster recovery plan. However, having a backup plan is good; power and data back-up contingencies are essential to compliment your data recovery strategies.
Designing a disaster recovery plan should be a priority for any business in the 21st century. Whether contracting an external entity for data backups or adopting an internal data backup plan, both approaches should exhaustively and correctly provide appropriate answers to the following questions; what is the time needed for the company to bounce back? And what is required for a quick recovery?
To answer these questions fully, acquisition of a disaster recovery plan will not be enough but regular testing, evaluation, and updates will get your disaster recovery plan ready to shield you against any unprecedented risks.