5 Disaster Recovery Plan Tips That Could Save Your Business
As a business owner or manager, how often do you stop to think about your business and how prepared you are to weather a disaster? If you are like most, you probably have some form of backup and may even have a basic disaster recovery plan. That’s a great start but given all the recent big disasters around the world, there is proof positive that a simple backup is likely not enough. If you feel you aren’t ready for the big one, here’s a few steps you can take to remedy that.
- Back it all up – EVERYTHING. Logic dictates that you backup your most important programs and data but it really can be tough trying to determine just exactly what that is. After all, a file you don’t need today is bound to be essential tomorrow – that’s just Murphy’s Law. Plus you need to be very concerned with backing up the configuration. Recreating users and rights etc can be a real nightmare so make sure your disaster recovery plan manages to get it all!
- Staged recovery. A staged recovery suggests that you have identified the relative importance of each of your existing systems and are utilizing a method of recovery that meets the required needs. You need to identify which of your systems are absolutely critical and then adopt a disaster recovery plan that will ensure these systems are up and running first.
- Keep copies of license keys and subscriptions. Every day the amount of software and programs that businesses use multiplies. You should keep copies of all your activation keys and subscription anniversaries. While most software is downloaded and can be again if you ever lose the original installation files, you may still need the activation keys. As well, many software manufacturers still send out software by CD and if that gets lost to a fire or flood, you may well be on the hook to replace it.
- Choose the correct recovery location. A solid disaster recovery plan should ensure that any data stored offsite (like online backups) be in diverse geographic locations. Note I said “locations”, as in plural. If you are doing disk based backups, you certainly don’t want your only copy to be stored onsite and if it is being stored in the cloud, it shouldn’t be in your city or even your province. Failure to consider this could make recovery impossible if, for example, you live and store your data in Vancouver and it gets struck with a massive earthquake. Store it off the fault line if you want it back.
- Match the plan to your company. With all the different backup and recovery options available today, it can be very difficult to pick one. If your company can tolerate a day or two (or three) of downtime, your disaster recovery plan will be drastically different than if your business plan dictates that you cannot tolerate more than one hour of downtime. And of course budget is also a huge consideration. But again, there are literally hundreds of backup and recovery options to choose from and it is possible to balance downtime tolerance with your ability to pay.
Whether you looking to rev up your disaster recovery plan or you need to establish one from scratch, here’s be a great place to start. We’ll help you craft the optimal solution based on budget and needs.