Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Disaster Recovery – More important than you think.

Here’s a very simple question for you – “How much would it cost your business if you lost access to all of your computers, emails, internet and stored files for one working day”?

If the answer is – “A LOT of money”, and you do not currently have a Disaster Recovery Plan, then you really do need to read on as this is very important.

When we talk about disasters, we can split them down into two categories, namely natural and man-made. These categories can be then subdivided as follows and by way of example;

Natural

Avalanche, blizzard, earthquake, fire, flood, freezing rain, heat wave, hurricane, landslide, lightning, tornado, tsunami, volcanic eruption etc.

Man-made

Bio-terrorism, civil unrest, fire, hazardous material spills, power failure, human error, sabotage etc.

A disaster recovery plan is a document listing the procedures to follow in the event of an IT ‘disaster’. It should be clear, concise and have guidance on how to recover the IT systems which have been affected by the disaster so as to avoid as much down-time as possible. It should also detail actions to be taken before a disaster as well as during, and after.

It is not always possible to avoid a disaster, but with the right planning and pre-thought, its affects can be minimised. The key objectives of a disaster recovery plan is to do just that – minimise data loss and downtime. Disaster recovery is measured in two ways – the recovery time objective (RTO) and the recovery point objective (RPO).

The RTO is a set time in which an organisations IT systems must be restored back to a working order after a major incident, whereas the RPO is the maximum acceptable age of the files and / or data being recovered. The RPO is measured in backwards time from the point of the major incident, whereas the RTO is in forwards time.

As stated on Wikipedia, some of the key benefits in having a DR plan are as follows;

  • Providing a sense of security
  • Minimizing risk of delays
  • Guaranteeing the reliability of standby systems
  • Providing a standard for testing the plan
  • Minimizing decision-making during a disaster
  • Reducing potential legal liabilities
  • Lowering unnecessarily stressful work environment

It should be noted that since no two business operate in exactly the same way, similarly there are no two identical DR plans as they need to fit a business’s exact requirements. Three things which are essential though are;

  • Preventive measures
  • Detective measures
  • Corrective measures

With the advent of faster and much more reliable internet connectivity, many businesses are now opting to store a lot of their data and servers in remote data centre locations, otherwise known as ‘the cloud’. The benefits of this being that in theory, it wouldn’t matter so much if their building suffered a disaster, as every IT system they would need to continue operating would be housed at a different (diverse) location. However, this way of working comes with security concerns, so many companies still prefer to keep everything on-site.

Claritas can advise and help you create a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, as well as giving guidance on cloud based solutions and how to ensure that security is a priority.

For more information please feel free to get in touch on 0845 63 99 661 to speak to one of our technical sales team.







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