No one likes thinking about bad news. Maybe that’s why planning for disaster recovery often doesn’t get the attention it requires. But without a solid plan that’s been documented and tested, your disaster recovery process can turn into a disaster of its own. Take the steps you need to ensure you don’t experience these disaster recovery disasters:
1. Recovery site not ready
There are two backup sites you need to think about when you create your disaster recovery strategy.
The first backup site is where your backups are stored. You need your backups to be stored securely, but also to be available quickly when they’re needed. It often makes sense to keep backups in at least two locations—one, onsite at your primary data center for use in small outages, and two, at your secondary location or in the cloud for use when the primary site is unavailable.
The second backup site is where you bring up your systems when your production site is down. Whether in the cloud or a secondary data center, it’s a good idea to keep this site relatively current with applications and data to allow the recovery process to happen more quickly.
2. Backups not available
You can’t restore systems to their production state without backup copies of systems and data. The problems go beyond potential inaccessibility of the site where backups are stored. Common backup problems include data that was never backed up or backup media that has been corrupted. Another potential problem is that the data backup doesn’t let you easily isolate the exact elements to be restored, forcing you to spend time restoring files that haven’t changed.
3. Recovery process not known
In the middle of a crisis is a bad time to discover you don’t know how to restore your systems. Not being documented at all is a worst-case scenario, but even a thick binder of recovery procedures doesn’t guarantee the process will run smoothly. This isn’t a process your staff is familiar with; maybe they remember it from a once-per-year test scenario, or maybe they didn’t participate in the test and have never executed the process.
In addition, no matter how detailed the recovery documents are, they may not be a match for your situation. Sometimes you’ll need to recover just a single file or a single server, not your entire data center, and comprehensive disaster recovery plans typically focus on the biggest possible outage. You’ll have to figure out a smaller-scale recovery process on the fly.
4. Recovery process takes too long
Every minute your business isn’t operational costs money, so restoring systems as quickly as possible is critical to minimizing the impact of a disaster. You should have a recovery time objective for every system, and conduct tests that verify you can meet those requirements.
5. Recovery process is error-prone
A manual recovery process is vulnerable to user error, and every recovery process is vulnerable to poor communication.
Take steps to avoid disaster recovery disasters before you experience a crisis. Let CCS Technology Group develop a disaster recovery solution that gets you through your disaster without creating new disasters along the way. Contact us to learn more about effective disaster recovery planning.