10 things to consider when thinking about Disaster Recovery

1. Have a plan

Many organisations do not have a DR plan, or their plan is outdated. Keep it fresh. New applications are constantly deployed, and storage is growing by 50% per year on average. Be sure your plan keeps pace with business needs.

2. Test the plan
Your DR plan should be tested at least once a year. If you’re really serious about testing, try locking your workers out of the building and say ‘go’. Yes, this may be extreme, but this will ensure they know what to do if a disaster really strikes…
3. Decide what is important
You should identify what applications are vital and how long it will take to recover them. This will allow you to prioritise your recovery efforts and also help you identify what level of data protection your business requires for each application. It’s important to understand that not all applications have equal recovery requirements.
4. Recovery point?

Decide how much data you can afford to lose in the event of local (e.g., server/storage) and/or site failure. A couple of hours? Last night? Weekly? Then architect your plan accordingly.

5. Recovery time?
It’s also important to understand how soon your business critical applications must be back online after a failure before it starts to impact your business seriously? So how long before it starts to hurt…minutes? hours? Days? This information (as well as point 4 above) will help you choose the right DR solution for your business.
6. Disk-based snapshots to protect against Ransomware

Not all disasters are physical. Ransomware is becoming increasingly common (usually costing between £200 and £5,000) and can impact users and systems. Schedule frequent snapshots of your data, enabling granular file, folder, share recovery, to combat these attacks.

7. Keep real-time copies of your data

Data storage redundancy is your friend and can prevent hardware failure from becoming a disaster recovery situation at all.

8. “Deduplication” and “compression”- Tools for efficiency

When replicating storage, look to utilise bandwidth efficiently as this will directly affect your time for recovery. Deduplication and compression technologies are key to achieving this.

9. Encryption in flight
Take extra security precautions by utilising encryption. Even if you’re using private networks, prying eyes may be watching you.
10. Company image and reputation

Companies don’t expect to declare a disaster. If they do, protecting the company’s image is just as important as getting the information back online. If disaster strikes be honest with customers about the impact. Brand loyalty is extremely hard to rebuild. Many companies don’t recover from disasters.

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