Malware. DDoS attacks. Inclement weather, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Hardware failure and human error.
In the context of data center operations, a disaster can take many forms – the only common thread is that your systems are brought down, your data is at risk, and your business loses money. And while you can’t outright prevent incidents like these from happening, you can certainly take steps to mitigate them. You can plan for disaster recovery.
Here’s the thing about that: not all disaster recovery plans are created equal, and you definitely don’t want to find out that yours is insufficient when you suffer an outage. But what’s involved in putting together a good DR plan? How can you ensure that, if a crisis does occur, it doesn’t catch you completely by surprise?
A few ways. First, you need to ensure that you’ve redundant systems, and backups that are available when you need to access them. The key is to minimize downtime as much as possible, and protect your data while you do so.
According to Smart Data Collective’s Daan Pepijn, the path do accomplishing that lies in making your DR as extensive as possible.
“Your DRP will address prevention and response – what you’ll do to prevent disasters from happening in the first place, and what you’ll do to respond if one happens,” writes Pepijn. “Your DRP is a key part of your company Business Continuity Planning (BCP). It will outline several disaster scenarios, define the detailed responses to each while aiming to keep impact to a minimum. In terms of prevention, the DRP will aim to minimize the effects of these scenarios, by outlining what your company has to do to avoid them.”
To that end, Pepijn recommends you’ve a plan of action for each of the following mission-critical components and services:
- Hardware including servers, desktops, routers and switches, wireless devices, and other peripherals.
- Data storage devices and applications.
- Enterprise software applications
- Service provider connectivity/transit routes.
- Computer room environments.
In addition to laying out a clear process for protecting those resources, your DRP should also have clauses explaining your failover measures. If a system goes offline, your administrators should be able to seamlessly – perhaps even automatically – shift to an alternative. Your DRP also needs to cover a wide range of crises; every incident your facility could possibly experience.
Last but not least – and this is the hard part – your DRP needs to be thoroughly and regularly tested. It’s no sense having all of these processes and applications in place if, when push comes to shove, they don’t actually work. And yes, that testing is both expensive and complicated to carry out, but the alternative is extensive downtime.
Which would you rather deal with?
Of course, if the complexities of disaster recovery are a bit too much to handle, you can always colocate with Liberty Center One – or simply use our facility for your disaster recovery efforts. We offer extensive and reliable disaster recovery services, ensuring that your business remains online through even the worst of catastrophes. Contact us today for a free quote.