Disaster recovery is something which most company executives realize is of the utmost necessity, but fail to implement. Most postpone it for a later day in light of the more urgent situations that need to be addressed.
In recent years, the frequencies of earthquakes in the Los Angeles area have increased at an alarming rate. Scientists have warned of a magnitude-7.5 earthquake in the near future due to joint rupture of the two most active faults in the area, the San Andreas and the San Jacinto. The rise in cyber-attacks on companies in the US further aggravates the situation. Therefore, implementing an effective disaster recovery protocol is the need of the hour .40% of companies rated their organization’s capability to recover their operation in the event of a disaster as fair or poor, whereas 36% of the companies want disaster recovery programs but cannot afford it.
The downtime your business suffers after a disaster can result in huge losses of revenue and reputation. Based on my many years of experience, I can only urge you to lay down a clear Disaster Recovery Program for your organization to follow in the aftermath of the crisis. Follow these simple Do’s and Don’ts while designing one.
What to do?
Have a well laid out plan and practice it:
You must have a well-laid plan that defines the responsibilities of every employee to deal with the effects of such a crisis. And the most important thing, you should practice disaster drills frequently. Employees get efficient on something by regular practice and as the frequency of such an event is very low, you should practice the drill regularly enough to avoid chaos during the actual event.
Maintain a secondary site / cloud-based infrastructure:
For companies who maintain a proper cloud-based IT infrastructure, they can afford to keep their critical business systems running even in the face of a disaster. That said, even if you do not maintain a cloud-based IT strategy framework, make sure that you do have a secondary site with a backup of all your data, application settings, and IT infrastructure components. This site must be geographically separate from your primary site so that you or a remote team can move there and resume business operations.
Maintain data on the basis of priority:
Just maintaining an offsite/online repository isn’t enough. You must know which data is mission-critical and which is irrelevant. Prioritize data whenever you maintain a backup. In the face of a calamity, you cannot afford downtime because even the low-priority data is being transferred from the cloud. Use data classification tools to properly organize data on the basis of priority.
What not to do?
Do not wing it!
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about disaster recovery is that you should not avoid it or delay it. The effects of a disaster extend beyond the loss of data. The downtime can affect your production, customers, and brand reputation. Your company is bound to encounter such a situation, even if it is on a small scale. In order to be prepared for such a situation, you need a disaster recovery plan, practice it and tweak it regularly.
Do not have a single point of failure:
Avoid an infrastructure where a single point of failure in your server, applications, or router can bring your whole business to a halt. As a rule, keep your critical applications safe and accessible every time by employing a mix of cloud, hosted and on-premises solutions. Try using more than one backup service for better reliability and have a backup power source for running your on-premise hardware in the case of a power outage.
Do not update your IT infrastructure without ensuring your backup system can support it:
This is the most common error that I have found with numerous companies. When you update your hardware and IT system, make sure that your backup solutions are compatible with the upgrades. Most IT teams upgrade their infrastructure to such an extent that the backup service solutions are unable to cope up with the increasing demands on storage. Make sure that your backup solutions are also frequently upgraded.
A disaster can strike anytime and therefore your business needs to stay prepared. The increasing frequency of such occurrences in the Los Angeles area further impose a serious threat to your business. Such instances, whether natural or artificial such as a cyber-attack can completely wreck your IT infrastructure and cripple your organization to the point of non-recovery. Therefore, formulate a Disaster Recovery Plan today itself. Create backup of your data and applications online as well as at a separate physical location to resume your business without much downtime when disaster strikes. While creating backups, organize your data according to its priority so that while restoring the system, the business-critical data and applications get downloaded first. Also, ensure that your upgraded IT systems are compatible with the backup systems.
Disaster recovery is something which demands the services of experts. At NIC, we provide managed IT services including cost-effective Disaster Recovery programs. Our customizable offers are suitable for companies of all sizes and budgets. We host your mission-critical data on our cloud-based servers and also maintain a backup on our servers located in the Arizona desert. Our servers are SSAE 16 certified, built to withstand any type of natural calamity.
As an experienced managed service provider based out of Los Angeles, we help numerous companies keep their data 100% safe and secure. Contact us today to know more about the different types of disaster recovery plans we offer.