6 Key Learnings for Disaster Recovery Planning

Posted by SIS

March 27, 2015 | 8:56 AM

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RecoveryTimesSISAccording to Forrester Research, enterprises today spend an average of 6.2 percent of their IT budgets on business continuity and disaster recovery planning—a jump of one full percentage point over the amount spent in 2010. In Forrester’s article, Forrester goes on to say that most of the spend was spent on internal disaster recovery which can be plagued with its own problems like skills, testing or lack of focus. In this day of social media, where customers can instantaneously spread comments around the world in seconds, negative feedback on your organization’s ability to be ready can reduce shareholder value and impact your reputation. 

Unless your organization is in the business of recovering from events on a regular basis, businesses can lack the experience and know-how to plan, design and test recovery plans and recovery scenarios. Many companies develop one-time plans and put them on the shelf thinking they can pull them out in an emergency. But data growth, network changes, and application sprawl that occurs with running your business make it difficult to implement a plan that has gone stale.  

Below are some key learnings to keep in mind as you develop a recovery plan:

1. Assuming that only a fraction of your staff will be available to help in the time of a disaster

In a time of chaos, employees are typically caught up in reacting to the disaster and taking care of their families. Some may have had damage to their homes and may have to evacuate.  

2. Solely backing up your data onsite/offsite may not be sufficient to restore your business application

Using traditional onsite backups can be risky if that is your only means to restoring data. Backup tapes can be lost or damaged. Providers who house tapes offsite can be challenged getting them to your business due to road conditions.

3. Failing to understand the third parties who are necessary to recover and sustain operations can cause your plan to fail

Disaster recovery planners require wide peripheral vision to be able to see beyond the recovery of the technology in the data center. Often times, key third parties are missed who provide a key function such as outsourced business processing centers.

4. Failing to accurately test to achieve recovery time and point objectives

With the greater volume of infrastructure and application changes, relying on outdated testing puts your recovery at risk. Even testing just a subset of applications limits understanding whether RPO and RTOs can be achieved.

5. Forgetting about security and compliance in your DR planning can come back to bite you

Ensuring that advance data storage, transmission and management protocols are used with 256-bit AES encryption for stored files, SSL encryption for files in transit, and role-based permissions are implemented are key in your production and DR location.

6. Understanding that true disaster recovery and business continuity maturity is driven as much by the business leaders as it is by the technical teams

Having a robust change management and documentation process is key to any successful business recovery in the event of a complete outage. Ensure that technical configurations and business process changes are approved and executed against critical business applications, and components of the infrastructure. It is of the utmost importance that these changes are also reflected in the documentation used and referenced in the event of a disaster.

SIS Disaster Recovery Services

Planning & Testing:

At SIS, we offer customers a spectrum of recovery options and services. We have seen the value to our customers of programmatic recovery planning and execution. Nothing forces a customer to understand their recovery plan better than having a scheduled recovery test with a service provider. Our team of project managers, engineers and architects work with you to evaluate options for your recovery based on a business impact assessment, recovery points and recovery time objectives.

Replication as a Service:

When you need to resume business within minutes of a disaster, SIS provides a service where you can replicate your data from your location to the SIS Managed Solution Center data centers. This service provides you with transactional data replication on an individual VM (Cloud) or LPAR (iSeries) basis. We assist you with the setup configuration on the originating and target location. Unlike other providers, we will help you get up-and-running, as well as test to validate the architecture delivers your RPO/RTO.

Backup to the Cloud:

SIS provides backup capacity based on your workloads, change rates and retention schedules. We can help manage your backups, or if you want to be in control, we can provide the mechanism to manage your capacities in our cloud. We include a local appliance which acts as your repository with all backups being replicated daily, including variable retention schedules.

Recovery on Demand:

Need to reduce your recovery costs or have some lower recovery time objectives? Recovery on demand might be right for you if just need a defined environment where you can recover to meet audit requirements, or if you want to know that you have a place in line for your system recovery.  

For more information, visit ThinkSIS.com

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Topics: Guest Blog

About SIS

A leading technology and managed IT solutions provider helping clients design, optimize and support mission-critical assets. Our regionally-focused teams across the country solve challenges and design solutions, leaving more time for clients to devote resources to core business strategies. SIS’ proven methodology, experienced professionals and innovative technologies provide the highest quality of IT service to more than 1,300 clients, both large and small.

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