Tips for Designing a Disaster Recovery Plan

by SEP Blog Team | Business Continuity, Data Recovery

Hope is not a good strategy,  when it comes to disaster recovery. Many business owners don’t really know what they would do if a major virus or hacker destroyed their data,  if a natural disaster wiped out their server, or if a hard drive failure or software malfunction corrupted their data. But they do know that if their data is lost from a disaster, power outage, theft, equipment failure, and even simple human error, the downtime will be costly and possibly catastrophic. The only solution is for every business owner to have a disaster recovery plan in place, one that will give them peace of mind.

DR Plan Basics

A proactive disaster recovery strategy provides a step-by-step process to recover any interrupted networks and systems, so a business can resume standard operations. The objective of these procedures is to minimize any negative impact to a company’s operations.

The process identifies critical IT networks and systems; prioritizing their recovery objectives; and delineating the steps called for to reconfigure, recover and restart. A comprehensive DR plan also includes relevant vendor contacts, sources of expertise needed and logical sequential actions leading to a smooth recovery.

“Arguably the most critical parts of disaster recovery planning are the disaster recovery strategy and the detailed recovery plan. It is here that you will codify the concrete steps to take to get up and running again following an unplanned outage. The disaster recovery strategy and detailed recovery plan are based on a risk assessment and business impact analysis of your organisation and your understanding of the systems most critical to the business and what you need to do to get them working again in an acceptable time frame.”

IT Contingency Planning

  1. Understand the IT Contingency Planning Process and its place within the overallContinuity of Operations Plan and Business Continuity Plan process
  2. Develop or reexamine your contingency policy and planning process and apply the elements of the planning cycle, including preliminary planning, business impact analysis, alternate site selection, and recovery strategies
  3. Develop or reexamine your IT contingency planning policies and plans with emphasis on maintenance, training, and exercising the contingency plan

A comprehensive disaster recovery strategy has specific contingency planning recommendations for seven IT platform types and provides strategies and techniques common to all systems. Those platform types are:

  • Desktops and portable systems
  • Servers
  • Web sites
  • Local area networks
  • Wide area networks
  • Distributed systems
  • Mainframe systems.

Here are some crucial questions you should ask when researching your Recovery strategy:

  • Do you have a Recovery Time Objective plan? How long would it take to restore all of your data? Could you be back up-and-running within a few hours if you had to restore everything?
  • Do you have a Recovery Point Objective plan? When was your last backup completed? How much data would you lose if an attack occurred X hours in between backups?
  • Are you certain that you would get all of your data back, exactly how you need it?

Test the Plan

After you have created a disaster recovery strategy that works for your business, you are only halfway there. Testing your backups and your disaster recovery plan is essential. That is the only way to be certain; your data is where you need it, when you need it.

Data Recovery is a major concern for businesses of every size. Creating a solid recovery program with business continuity in place and a full business disaster contingency plan is not a simple task. It is arduous and demands great effort from every division of a company. But Is there anything more important than having true peace of mind while securing your business’s future! We think not. Contact us today!