Don't Let Your Disaster Recovery Plan Be a Disaster

The boxer, Mike Tyson, once said, "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth." The same goes with most Disaster Recovery Plans for data in environments today. Everything is clicking along good until something happens, human error or natural event then a great number of times whatever was thought to have been planned or "handled" goes out the window. Now it is full on panic mode. Where are the backups? Where are the passwords? Who is supposed to do what? There are all types of different reports and charts available that talk about the chances of an organization to stay in business after complete data loss as well the chances of organizations who are down for say 1-2 weeks. Neither are good, but the chances of good things happening for the company that lost all of its data are not great.

So, you say, what do we do about it?

Make a plan, with a block or bob and weave, but have a plan that has been tested you that you now that works.

First you need to go through your environment and look at all of your data types and the infrastructure said data is housed on.

  • Mission critical data-data that is critical to the business, like CRM tools, billing software, email. Little to no downtime.
  • Business critical-data that is vital to business operation, but can be offline longer that Mission Critical.
  • Static data-data that shows low or no change over time but has regulations that must be met for retention. Recovery can take longer.

Secondly, data needs to get offsite.

Which or all of the methods will depend on your requirements on your above data types. As this data is being transported via the wire or by truck, make sure your data is encrypted.

  • tapes being sent offsite
  • backup data being replicated
  • standby machines

Finally, test the plan that you have came up with

  • involve as many eyes and sources of input to build out a plan, recovery time objectives, recovery point objectives, retention policies. Get everyone invested in the plan.
  • write out the plan, make sure key personnel know where it is
  • detail in the plan who is responsible for what and who is backing them up if they are not available.

Guess what folks, that is not the end we can't just make a plan and never expect to change it. Technology is changing all time, initiatives evolve.

"We are going to the cloud, wait we didn't plan for that in our DR guide."

"We are finally going virtual, need to update the plan."

We at Quest are here to help you at whatever stage of the process that you are in:

  • Hadn't really thought about it until now.

Or

  • We have a plan and need help.

We can help you plan. We can also help you execute. From professional services to migrations we have you covered. Check us out at our dedicated backup and recovery page.

About the Author
Brandon.Nichols
I am a Field Solutions Consultant for Quest's Data Protection products. I help customers discover what their needs are in their backup and disaster recovery environment and help overhaul or fill gaps...