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Planning for Disaster Recovery

Planning for Disaster Recovery

Many times losing personal or professional data files can cause major stress as it brings one’s day to day operations to a halt. Especially important amongst business professionals, have a strong disaster recovery plan can make the difference in the ability to provide services to customers despite certain unforeseen events. From natural disasters to security breaches, professionals must always aim to plan for the unexpected to maximize their company efficiency. To best address a disaster recovery plan, and to avoid a loss in finances, reputation or client standing, professionals should keep these tips in mind:

1)Preplan

It’s important to categorize all likely threats to an organization’s internet technology to best address how to avoid/deter these threats. Once these potential threats are made known, categorize them by which threats could be most detrimental to ones that could be least detrimental. Threats with higher possible influence should take priority during preplanning techniques. Keep in mind that the less downtime a threat can be tolerated, the more it will cost to create an appropriate response. Additionally, not all threats require long durations of downtime.

2) Outline Technology Infrastructure

To avoid threats to technology, an organization should outline their entire technological infrastructure. Key elements of infrastructure outlining include obtaining resource duplicates while using multiple mainframes and servers to run in the event that production and data facilities fail. Thus, in the case of an active threat, the production system will immediately resort to the local backup source. Because power outages rank among the top IT disruptions, having a reliable back-up infrastructure can make this threat more easily preventable.

3) Define DisasterAction Expectations

The possibility for a threat to an organization’s data to occur is unavoidable. Therefore, set service-level expectations and polices should be defined prior to a threat occurring. Service-level agreements can define the uptime and recovery parameters for all of an organization’s data assets. Equally important, management must buy into this exception in order to determine whether a particular asset must be up and running immediately following a disaster such as an outage. Clearly, outlining assets, configurations, and service agreements will help link IT asset performance to business requirements, and provide background in case of system disruptions.

4) Test Your Plan

After formal policies and procedures are delineated, an organization should test for the plan’s completeness and effectiveness. To ensure that all policies are thorough, they should be retested on a regular basis to make sure that any subsequent changes to the IT infrastructure and business processes haven’t created a need for policy modifications. In addition, organizations should create test beds that accurately reflect day-to-day business conditions, so that drills simulate real-world conditions. While multiple tests can ensure effectiveness, there is no way to totally avoid every disaster contingency. Yet, with the right technologies, clear expectations, practical recovery policies and rigorous testing methods organizations can truly work to minimize negative and detrimental consequences when the unexpected happens to data infrastructure.

Overall, having a disaster recovery plan in place a can give a company a competitive edge. A disaster recovery plan should be clear and concise, focusing on key activities/functions required to recover IT services. If an organization plans for the unknown, unplanned events will be much less harmful.