Disaster recovery explained
‘Disaster’ is a somewhat emotive term that conjures up images of large fires, extreme flooding and earthquakes! But In the IT industry, disaster can mean anything, whether that is the office pipe bursting, a small fire or even systems getting hacked.
Something that is often left out of a businesses disaster recovery plan is data recovery. It’s amazing how many businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, especially when you consider the tremendous impact that the loss of critical data can cause to them.
On a more mundane level, your probably will have experienced server failures, disk crashes, data corruption and harmful viruses, which at the time, would have been seen as major disasters – especially if you couldn’t recover the situation within a reasonable time frame for your business. Circle IT gives us an overview of disaster recovery.
A few things to consider:
· How much data has your business collected up until now?
· How much is the data worth and how would it affect your business if you lost it all?
· What is your procedure for storing and backing-up critical data?
What is disaster recovery?
Disaster recovery is the process of returning a business or organization to its original state by recovering critical data. Disaster recovery services are often required when essential systems are not available for periods long enough to have an impact on the business, e.g. when the office is flooded due to a burst pipe or a crippling cyber attack.
What is a disaster recovery plan?
Every business that uses computers to run their business needs to have an effective disaster recovery plan in place. A disaster recovery plan documents various procedures, policies and actions to limit the amount of disruption that is caused in the wake of a disaster. The aim of a disaster recovery plan is to allow a business or organisation to maintain or quickly resume mission important functions. A disaster recovery plan consists of four key components: the emergency plan, the recovery plan, the backup plan, and the test plan.
Is the cloud beneficial for disaster recovery?
Many businesses are already embracing cloud computing for data backup, and with such an array of technical, financial and security benefits, it’s easy to see why. The growth of cloud storage has created an affordable, multi-tier option for backup up important data in the event of data loss or another IT disaster. Not only does cloud computing allow businesses to leverage their existing IT infrastructure, it also allows you to increase or decrease your storage capacity as and when you see fit.
With such an array of recovery and data backup solutions available, choosing the right one for your business can be a daunting task. If you have a low budget allocated to disaster recovery, there are a broad range of options that could serve your data back-up needs. Simply backing up data to an external storage system is a good solution for some businesses. Cloud storage websites such as drop box and Google drive are also handy for storing critical data. If you want a more thorough disaster recovery solution, devise a disaster recovery plan that includes the following:
· Remote storage and back up of critical data in a place that can be easily accessed.
· Alternate communication lines for your email server and phones.
· Members of staff who are responsible for making regular backups and encouraging fellow employees to do the same.
· An offsite location that takes care of your businesses telecommunications and computers so that mission critical functions and IT systems can resume as quickly as possible.
· Testing of the plan at least once a year. This allows you to pinpoint any weaknesses and make changes accordingly. A disaster recovery plan doesn’t need to be complex; it just needs to be concise and easy to understand in a stressful situation.