Do You Have a Disaster Recovery Plan in Place?
As we still clean up from Hurricane Sandy businesses that were offline for any period of time are asking themselves the same question, “After all the money we invested in Disaster Recovery how did we again still have downtime?” The answer is actually simple. There’s a huge difference between throwing some money at DR and having a comprehensive Disaster Recovery solution in place. The same issues that caused DR solution failures on 9/11 and during Hurricane Irene are back again.
More and more people are accepting the long known fact that sooner or later their business will suffer some sort of interruption if they do not take appropriate measures to prevent it.
We all pay attention to the large scale events that make the news but each and every day businesses are dealing with their own localized issues that cause them major headaches. Water miens break, air conditioners fail, power goes out, facade fall off buildings, and political situations get out of control.
In the past it may have been acceptable to be offline for a few hours or even days. Business was localized and consumers were much more patient. That’s certainly not the case today. If you have an office in NYC that’s shut down and a customer from London can’t reach you they may very well look for an alternate supplier.
The good news in all of this is that with a little planning downtime can be greatly reduced and even eliminated. The most important thing to understand is that Disaster Recovery is not simply a one size fits all solution. It is in a fact a three-tiered approach that involves both business and technology units. The three pieces of a comprehensive DR plan are high availability, business continuity, and backups.
- High availability – HA systems protect against local failures such as bad hardware or human error in your data center. These systems provide for very quick failover times.
- Business continuity – BC involves the policies, procedures and solutions that ensure that in the event of a disaster business continues to function with minimal interruption. Often this includes geographically dispersed systems and data along with a system in place to allow remote access for both customers and employees.
- Backups –Often incorrectly considered disaster recovery on its own is data backup. Backups are an additional copy of your data that can be retrieved in the event that a large scale recovery needs to be performed. Recovery from backups can take hours, days or even weeks to complete.
Each of the above components play a key role in a DR solution. None of them stand up well on their own but when assembled together they create a robust Disaster Recovery solution. Disaster will strike and it’s important to be ready for it when it does. With all the time and effort put into growing a business it would be a shame to watch it all get thrown away. A comprehensive DR solution is as important as fire, liability or other types of insurance. Your business is worth it.