Data Recovey Denver | Disaster Recovery Planning

Data Recovey Denver | Disaster Recovery Planning

If you're in your office right now, look up. Do you see a sprinkler head? What would you company do if that thin piece of red plastic broke?

Unfortunately IT disaster recovery scenarios are all too common for small businesses. Data gets stolen. Buildings flood, and hardware fails. The businesses that survive these interruptions planned ahead. They brought a life preserver despite the seas looking calm. In the case of disaster recovery, the life preserver is a formal disaster recovery plan.

What goes into a disaster recovery plan?
Most companies start and stop their plans with tape backup, but that is rarely sufficient. Untested tape backup fails at jaw-dropping rate, and many times data recovery takes so long that the business might as well be retyping every document and email.

A disaster recovery plan should be a formal document that is printed, laminated, and stored in multiple places off-site. It not only answers questions about backing up and recovering data but also how to rebuild the network and start over.

The following are some common elements in a disaster recovery plan.

Definition of responsibilities during a disaster - Who can declare a disaster? Who orders new hardware, notifies vendors, contacts employees?
Directions for recovering from the disaster. Who does what, when?
Phone tree and emergency contact information for all employees;
Contact information for vendors and key personnel external to the company.
Full documentation of existing hardware, network, and software;
Budget for rebuilding the network;
Plan for temporary space or access to virtual servers as applicable;
Key customer information as applicable;
Building your plan
The 3 major issues in building a disaster recovery plan are recovery point, time to recovery, and budget.

Recovery Point
How much data can you lose? Is some data more important than other data? What data is absolutely critical for the business to survive? Maybe some email can be lost, but the blue prints or accounting information is invaluable. Your recovery point is the definition of what the system needs to look like once everything has been fixed.

Time to recovery
How long can the business be down? Can some parts of the business be down longer than others? When does everything need to be back to normal? Each business will answer this question differently, and this standard will heavily influence the type of solution chosen.

If money were not object, every business would want their IT up and running immediately and to the fullest extent possible after a disaster. Of course, that probably isn't the case.

Budget falls into two categories. First, there is some cost for preparing for the disaster. Developing a disaster recovery plan, setting up the backup solution, and perhaps even buying redundant hardware all contribute to this expense.

The second cost comes after the disaster has struck. This might include the cost to buy new hardware, set up the network, and restore from backup. Estimates for this cost should also be included in the plan. Having a plan is worthless if the plan is too expensive to implement.

Whatever your disaster recovery plan looks like, remember to print it out. If you only have an electronic copy and your server crashes, you'll be starting from scratch.

Steven Nichols works with Mission Critical Systems, the Denver IT Services firm. We are a well established IT Support Vendor in Denver Colorado. Our deep experience with disaster recovery planning helps our denver IT Services Clients have peace of mind.

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Data Recovey Denver | Disaster Recovery Planning