Disaster Recovery – what a morbid topic! Planning for a failure! For any of us who’ve been around long enough, we KNOW we need to have a plan in case things go south. And “south” can mean a lot of things – hacker attack, natural disaster, power outage, or worse.
The real trick is identifying what truly qualifies as “business critical” and what is “nice to have.” The most effective recovery plans get the business back to a degraded stage in a few hours and to an optimal stage soon after that. The difference between degraded and optimal varies from organization to organization. In a degraded stage, all core business process are operational, but ancillary services may not be available.
So, what to plan for? Well the smoking hole event (something happened to the data center and you have to start from scratch) is the most unlikely scenario, but the recovery plan has to account for it. Most events that stimulate Disaster Recovery (DR) are caused by human error or component failure. Thus, the plan needs to compartmentalize key functions. Looking at business-critical processes and developing a plan per function is a better approach than just generating a facility-level plan.
In most organizations, the planning stage is the most arduous as well as the most critical part of any Disaster Recovery. The plan should determine the response to any level of disturbance and include a descriptive action/response plan often defined as a “Run Book.” The Run Book is the key document to follow in the event of a declared disaster. It should consist of the step-by-step recovery procedure for each business function. Some Runbooks contain internal recovery process, and others contain contact information needed to execute within a DR service provider.
Investing in DR is almost always a Build vs Buy (or more likely a both) strategy. DR today comes in various flavors, everything from a self-executed DR process to a hand-off approach though a cloud-based third party.
Where ever your organization is with DR, Data Strategy can help manage the overall process so that your IT team can focus on more strategic initiatives in support of the business.
Want to learn more? Check out our Techex Webinar on Back Up & Disaster Recovery