The big questions when evaluating how to handle disaster recovery scenarios today include: what is driving outages and how can you be as resilient as possible? Think about the last time you were impacted by an outage – it may have been in your personal life or in your work. Most of us have become accustomed to everything being available right now. Uptime is expected.

According to Ponemon Institute’s studies, 95% of businesses have experienced some type of unplanned outage in the last two years. Surprisingly, the one most talked about is usually natural disasters but that ranks as the third leading cause of outages. The second leading cause of outages is attributed to security and cybercrime; the frequency and complexity of these attacks is escalating and the cost and time to restore operations is increasing as well. The number one cause of unplanned outages is human error. The costs may not be as severe but they are more frequent than other types of “disaster” and often are just the result of really bad luck.

To make sure your disaster recovery plan will work as expected when you need it, here a few key things to review:

  • Do you have a well-defined RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective)? If you don’t know how quickly the business needs to be back up and running, you won’t have any way to measure the success of your plan. Business leaders should help define these objectives. You will need faster RTO and RPO for business critical applications.
  • Do you have a plan for the full range of events that could pose disaster for your business? These include: natural disasters, fire, power outages, hardware failure, ransomware, and human error. Can you do a full failover or just a single application depending on what has occurred?
  • Do you test your disaster recovery plan periodically? Things may have changed since your last test. Perhaps you have added a new application or additional hardware. Changes need to be incorporated into your plan. It may seem obvious but you need to know the results of the disaster recovery test. We recently spoke with someone using a service for their disaster recovery and all the individual knew about the test was that the service provider said it had been done and things were ok. We think you need to know specific results of what was tested, how it was tested and what recovery time and recovery point was achieved. We highly recommend that you share the recovery time and recovery point results with senior management. Do they fully understand how much downtime there will be and what impact that will have on the business?
  • Is your disaster recovery plan well documented? In the event of any type of disaster even the most seasoned IT professionals may become flustered. A step by step written plan removes the risk of forgetting important details and sets the protocol for recovery priorities. How quickly do you need each application back up and running? Does your plan have a suitable recovery method to meet that time objective? Don’t forget to update your plan when you make changes in your environment. Ideally, your plan should be executable by a non- IT person in case your IT team is not available for some reason.

Historically, it has been difficult for operations teams to design and manage disaster recovery plans. Setting up a second data center was cost prohibitive for all but large enterprises. Typically, small and midsize organizations had to rely on a solid offsite backup plan but all IT professionals know that having a copy of data offsite is not enough to restore operations. Organizations need highly orchestrated failover to minimize downtime.  Now with advancements in technology and the cloud, it is affordable for all sizes of organizations.

Would you like to evaluate your disaster recovery plan? We are offering a complimentary BDR Assessment until May 31, 2017. Register below and a Solution Specialist will contact you to discuss and schedule a BDR Assessment.

The BDR Needs Assessment is an important tool for assessing current backup and disaster recovery strategy.

  • Perform BDR Needs assessments to identify potential data security vulnerabilities
  • Identify the Risks associated current BDR solution and present the business impact of system downtime and recovery time
  • Calculate Recovery Time Costs associated with current  BDR strategy and suggest upgrades or improvements along with generating a BDR System Sizing specification

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