If your organization encounters a disaster recovery (DR) scenario, how long would it take to get your systems back up and running?
This question may haunt some IT decision makers considering the fact that many small businesses haven’t even thought about implementing a disaster recovery plan. Nationwide Insurance recently commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a poll among 500 small business owners.
The results were shocking; Nationwide found that 75% of respondents indicated that they did not have a disaster recovery plan at all. The data also revealed that 52% of small business owners thought that it would take at least 3 months to rebuild their business if it were impacted by a disaster.
With so much on the line, when is the last time your business discussed its disaster recovery plan?
Building a Disaster Recovery Plan
Did you know that ColoCrossing will partner with your business to help you build a disaster recovery plan? Each business has its own objectives and the disaster recovery specialists at ColoCrossing can help you build a plan that is custom tailored to meet your enterprise’s core objectives.
Choosing ColoCrossing to build and execute your disaster recovery plan will take an enormous burden off of your IT staff. If your business chooses the “Do it yourself” approach, here are a few things that your disaster recovery plan will need to cover:
- Diversification – Backup your data and store it in different geographic regions.
- Backups – Invest in quality backup software such as Veeam or StorageCraft.
- Infrastructure – Does your organization need cold/warm spares?
- Testing – If you do not test your disaster recovery plan, how do you know that it will work?
Following these fundamental steps will ensure that your organization can quickly recover from any sort of prolonged outage.
Planning for the Worst
One of the key tenants of disaster recovery is that all businesses must plan for the worst. Some of the most common disaster recovery scenarios include prolonged power outages and severe weather.
If your business must be up and running 24/7/365, how can you quickly react to your core infrastructure being suddenly unavailable? What if your office is inaccessible? How does your business still meet the needs of its customers?
With a disaster recovery plan, your organization should have plans to help end users regain access to critical infrastructure. If your business does not have a backup location available, some organizations elect to allow their employees to work from home.
If you host your data center onsite, you could encounter problems remoting into your network during a disaster recovery scenario. To remedy this issue, it’s common for businesses to use collocated datacenters to host their disaster recovery infrastructure.
From there, you’d want to provide VPN connections so that end users can work remotely until the office is brought back online.
When you build a disaster recovery plan, think about the unique factors that are specific to your geographic region. For example, if your office is in Florida, you should specifically have a plan that addresses what your business will do during a hurricane. If your office is in California, factor in the possibility of an earthquake disrupting your day to day operations.
You’ll want to prepare for these disaster recovery scenarios accordingly and focus on the scenarios that are most likely to impact your business.
Executing Your Disaster Recovery Plan
As we briefly mentioned above, testing your disaster recovery plan is critical. Most experts say that you should test your DR plan every fiscal quarter.
Most businesses test their disaster recovery plans at night or on the weekends. This minimizes any apparent downtime that might be associated with your services going into disaster recovery mode.
Businesses must execute their disaster recovery plan regularly. This ensures that the disaster recovery plan will work should a real disaster recovery scenario present itself.
Be sure to create a checklist that covers all of the major services provided by your enterprise. You’ll want to ensure that these services work properly while your enterprise is operating in DR mode.
Simplifying Your Disaster Recovery Duties
The Ponemon Institute says that unexpected downtime can cost some enterprises up to $7,900 per minute.
Constructing a disaster recovery plan is no easy task. In fact, businesses that want to build a disaster recovery plan may need to hire contractors to complete the project. Other enterprises may assign in-house IT personnel to tackle the project. With this in mind, planning for disaster recovery can morph into a sophisticated project that requires time, additional resources and dedication.
That’s why so many businesses are outsourcing their disaster recovery projects to trusted professionals. Let ColoCrossing’s Disaster Recovery Specialists advise you on your organization’s disaster recovery plan.
With ColoCrossing’s vast network of US based data centers, your organization can rest assured that its core IT infrastructure will always be available. ColoCrossing’s datacenters meet the most stringent industry standards and ColoCrossing is trusted by some of the world’s most notable businesses.
Take the first step in ensuring that your company is protected and download our Disaster Recovery Plan Whitepaper now!