IT Solutions Blog

Disaster Recovery Plan Best Practices

Posted by Rose Doherty on Jun 22, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Disaster Recovery Data backup

5 Tips for a successful Disaster Recovery  Plan

Regardless of your business’s location and industry, there is always a chance that you may experience a disaster at any time. whether it is man-made, or natural, any disaster, if not anticipated and planned for, could spell trouble for your company. That’s why a Disaster Recovery Plan is essential. To help ensure you are prepared in the event of an emergencyt, here are five tips based on lessons learned from businesses that have battled disaster.

1. Locate your off-site backup in another region

Most companies today have backup measures in place, either physical or digital, and are hopefully schedulling backups on a regular basis. If a disaster strikes, having access to your data can help ensure that you can recover your systems and resume operations as quickly as possible.

While backups are great, if you keep your backups in the same area as your main systems, or even if your offsite backups are in the same region, there is a chance that a large disaster, like a tornado, or power outage, could also affect the off-site backup as well.   One of the best solutions is to keep a current backup offsite, and outside of your operating region, with most experts recommending at least 150 miles (250 km) away from your main business area.

How do you achieve this? The best option is to use cloud-backup. IntelliSuite hosts our backup service at a Tier 4 Data Center with multiple levels of security and redundancy to assure your data is safe and accessible.  

2. Reality test your plan

It can be tempting to simply develop a plan and then test it in a closed environment a few times a year, make some changes where necessary and then sit back and hope it works. In truth, for any plan to really be effective it needs to be tested in a realistic environment. If this is not carried out then there is a possibility that the plan could fail when activated.

Because disasters come in almost any size and form, you are going to want to first identify as many potential threats as possible. From here, test your recovery plans based on these scenarios and see how effective they are. Be sure to also involve your colleagues and employees, as they too will need to know what to do when disaster strikes and what their role in the recovery of data is.

A good way to look at these tests is to think of them more as practice runs. As with anything, the more you practice the easier and more effective it becomes. In this case, good practice could literally save your business.

3. Update your plan as you update your systems

When you develop a recovery plan, you need to base it on the systems and technology you currently have in your business. However, these systems and devices may not be in use six months.

As soon as you make any changes, your existing recovery plan could become obsolete. Therefore, you need to ensure that when you introduce new systems or technology you are also updating the recovery plan to work with these changes.

4. Create an accessible plan

Many experts agree that having a physical plan that employees can see and access during a disaster is one of the best ways of ensuring that it is actually implemented properly. Therefore, when you develop a Disaster Recovery Plan make sure that all of your employees can access it at any time. This includes during and immediately following a disaster.

Beyond this, you need to make sure that the plan is consistent. If you update the master plan, but fail to update the copies you store in say a public cloud, or at different worksites, this will lead to confusion and even an increased recovery time or complete recovery failure. When you do update your plan, let all parties involved know that it has been updated and remind them where they can find copies of the plan.

5. Don’t be the only fully-trained disaster recovery expert in your company

As a business owner or manager it can be easy to try and run everything yourself. Afterall, it is your business and you know exactly how to look after everything, right?. The problem is that if you are the only fully-trained disaster recovery person you are making yourself the weakest link in the plan.

 

Topics: Disaster Recovery