Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity – 4 Must-Haves

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hellAsk ten people the definition of disaster recovery and business continuity and you are likely to get ten different answers. Some will tell you as long as the data is backed up, that’s all that matters. Some say backups are child’s play – the real trick is in the restore, so make sure you get everything. Still others will insist that without some way of virtualizing your infrastructure offsite, you don’t have a disaster recovery and business continuity plan.

Any way you slice it – and dependent upon what I refer to as the “sleep factor” re: what helps you sleep at night – there are 4 must-haves in order to have a COMPLETE disaster recovery and business continuity plan.

1. Backup everything
One question: why the heck wouldn’t you backup everything? Do you, as the business owner or the one charged with protecting the kingdom, really want to be responsible for what gets backed up and what doesn’t? Doesn’t make sense. Oh – and BTW, everything means everything – the data (obviously), the server operating systems and configurations, the host servers (if you have a virtualized infrastructure) – basically everything AND the kitchen sink. Having everything backed up makes life a lot easier when it comes time for the inevitable restore. Compare that to the punch-in-the-gut feeling: “What do you mean we didn’t back that up – you’re kidding me, right?” One click should get it all.

2. On premise vs. cloud storage
One camp says do it locally. The other says do it in the cloud. They’re both right and they’re both wrong. Allow me to explain… backing up locally is great. Your backups run quickly and restoring is a breeze. You can get single or multiple numbers of files in minutes. And if you are faced with a disaster recovery (notice how I left out the part about business continuity – more on that momentarily), having that data local to your environment sure speeds up the process.

Backing up to the cloud is also great. Especially when the disaster in question is complete enough to render your physical site unusable such as in a fire or flood.devices backing up to cloud But – and this is a big but – have you ever tried to restore hundreds of gigabytes or even terabytes of data over the wire? Better bring a sleeping bag and a change of clothes because you are going to need it.

So the right way? Both, of course: local and cloud! A local device for speedy backups and restores plus replication to the cloud in case “the big one” hits. Best of both worlds.

3. Business Continuity
Here’s a scenario for you. You’ve had a fire and it’s bad. In fact, it’s so bad that your office is a smoldering pile of soggy rubbish. Now, it’s great that you had the foresight to ensure you had local backups (which are now useless) and that those local backups were being replicated to the cloud but all those 1’s and 0’s aren’t worth the price of a cuppa Joe, because now you have nowhere to restore them. At least until you find a new office space, refurnish, buy new gear and pray for a good restore that doesn’t take a month of Sundays to happen. Oh yeah, and live through the hell that is the insurance claim.

But wait, dear reader – you’ve been voraciously consuming my other blogs so you already knew that if you have a local device that is being synced to a cloud repository, you can also use that same repository to spin up your entire environment in the cloud. Now you never have to be down – even if the world is coming down around your ears. Isn’t it nice to not lose customers because of some calamity that you had absolutely no control over? Deep, cleansing breath…

4. Scalability
At the end of the day, we’re humans and we humans just love to collect stuff. And most of us don’t like to throw it away much. Don’t believe me? Drive around any reasonably affluent neighbourhood and count the number of Bimmers you see in driveways because the garage is full of junk. We buy crazy expensive cars and park them out in the elements so we can fill our garages with worthless crap. Why? Because who has the time or the desire to go through all that junk? And we do the same thing with data. Most of the data we create, we’ll never use beyond six months. But we keep it anyway on the off chance that we may need that tiny tidbit of info – probably not, but you just never know…

I get it. I don’t throw anything away either. But that is a clear indicator that your disaster recovery and business continuity plan had better be built with scalability in mind. It should be a reasonably painless exercise to upgrade capacity. You should easily be able to either upgrade the storage on your local device or – worst case scenario – drop a larger one in with little to no hassle (or additional setup fees).

OK – so that covers the four most important things to consider when constructing a disaster recovery and business continuity plan. There are more though; you should contact us today so we can show you how to protect your business against everything from a lost or corrupt file to (touch wood) a complete disaster. Don’t wait! You have nothing to lose but data.