Many organizations mistake data backup and recovery as simply making a copy of their hard drive or server to an alternative location on a periodic basis. A proper data recovery plan that ensures continuity of business operations is more complex than that. Because such attention is time consuming, and requires careful, systematic planning, most folks don’t get it done. An automated appliance solution can help reduce the decision-making process. These are five steps you need to take when disaster recovery planning, and five reasons why an appliance implementation makes sense.
1. Decide which assets need to be protected
Data is growing at an exponential rate, with 90% of all the data in the universe created over the last two years. The volume of business data alone doubles every 1.2 years. No business can expect to keep track of all this data and still remain profitable. The biggest challenge facing businesses in regards to data is collecting the right data and prioritizing the most relevant data. This challenge becomes even harder when disaster recovery planning. Businesses need to prioritize their recovery plans after considering which data really makes a difference and which data can be recoverable from elsewhere, even if lost.
Businesses may, for instance, decide to protect their accounting system, email system and archives, while ignoring files on the LAN system, which may be generic drafts and templates for sending emails. The relevant regulations in place for the company/industry will influence this decision.
An appliance implementation will allow you to focus your data protection efforts upon prioritizing data rather than tim-consuming and manual tasks to operate your solution.
2. Evaluate the possible threats and scenarios
The potential causes for business disruption and risk to data are virtually infinite, ranging from lightning strike to floods, from a terrorist strike to rodents gnawing away the data cables, from a simple power outage to insider sabotage. Each business is different when it comes to the threats they face the most. Businesses need to evaluate the threats that they are more likely to encounter and take adequate countermeasures to both preempt the threat and ensure that the data and other critical assets are protected if the threat does come into play.
How can you find the time to perform threat evaluations when you must focus on keeping your data protection components compatible? An appliance implementation solves compatibility for you.
3. Determine the recovery window
After evaluating threats, it is pertinent to determine the recovery window, or how long it is possible to go without access to the required data. This may vary, with some systems having one hour thresholds and others having a threshold of a day.
For instance, an e-commerce site would want their sales and inventory servers to be up and running within minutes, if possible, whereas they may be able to afford to wait longer to restore their backend purchase or stock replenishment system.
Recovery windows in a non-appliance data protection implementation seldom get designed by the value of the data. All data, most likely, just follow the same tedious process to get back and running, regardless of their importance. An appliance can tier data according to its value in the backup policy, as a matter of backup appliance functionality, which then identifies the recovery time you need.
4. Define the recovery solutions
Disaster backup and recovery solutions include tape backups, CDs, USB drives, data replication to an offsite location, backup cloud storage, and more. A comprehensive disaster recovery plan goes beyond this, specifying alternative workstations and backup communication facilities. The best approach depends on the factors described above, a cost-benefit analysis and the specific nature of the business.
With an enterprise backup appliance, all your data, including files important to mobile users all the way to RISC-based R&D engineers, can reside on the same high available storage. Consequently, an appliance eliminates the disparate media options for storing data and speeds up recovery for everyone’s immediate needs.
5. Make a disaster recovery plan
Simply deploying the recovery solutions in place is not enough. A recovery plan that details the process and frequency of data transfer to the recovery appliance, the passwords, the authorizations, the key personnel responsible, the communication chain and other finer details are an absolute must if the disaster recovery plan is to fulfill its objectives.
Many businesses neglect business continuity and disaster recovery plans simply because they are complex, time intensive and hard to complete. In the age of competitive pressures, businesses would rather invest their time and resources on their core operations and make more money. This, however, is a big mistake and an extremely short-sighted move. By neglecting to give data recovery planning its due importance, businesses are living dangerously, and they are staking their reputation, profitability and maybe even their very existence on forces outside their control which can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere.
With an enterprise backup appliance the disaster recovery plan can be automatically updated every day, completely removing human error from the documenting process.
STORServer offers state-of-the-art “enterprise class” data backup and disaster recovery appliances that will keep your business up and running, come hell or high water. Literally! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.