The Importance of Disaster Recovery Planning for the present and future.
2020 changed the world and the way we look at data forever. Covid-19 also known as the coronavirus has left countries and businesses struggling to respond to the rapidly spreading virus. While you would think that this would mostly affect the service industry because they have the largest person to person contact, however, this has also hurt manufacturing and asset acquisition. With no business being left untouched and businesses have begun to transition from the traditional face-to-face workspaces to digital workspaces data protection and Disaster Recovery have become extremely important to all businesses in all corners of the world. I am reminded of a quote that I have been told all my life. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
Creating a Dynamic Roadmap
When you start planning for disaster recovery it is important for you to remember this road map is not rigid but fluid as it will have to change with time and the development of new technologies and common practices. But the one part of the plan that will not change is where the map will start which is with your data set. It is important to have the data consolidated, available to be accessed, and to move down the map. The security comes in with having the way traveled be safe. The best way to start is….
· Inventory of all IT assets. This means having all serial numbers and upgrades to those various assets be easily accessed in the event of a failure.
· Set a priority for the collected data.
· Set a list of who has access to what data in order to make storage and access easy to find.
· Find improved and multiple options for storing data.
Communicating the plan
Having a plan is only useful if everyone knows the plan and their part in the plan. The disaster recovery plan needs the following communication points to be effective.
· Detail all the people who are responsible for the proper execution of the plan and making sure they can explain their part to their direct report in case the person is out and the plan is called into action.
· Create procedures for communicating with workers during and after the disaster in case typical ways of communication go down.
· The plan also has to lay out who will have communication with vendors involved and customers affected in the case of a disaster event.
Stressing and Testing the plan
The first time to test a system for recovery is not when you have a disaster but when you have scheduled downtime for maintenance or upgrades. The reason this is important is you would never try a lifeboat for the first time in the middle ocean. The process is run in several stages.
· A paper test where the team and leadership read the various plan document to familiarize themselves with the steps of the plan.
· Conduct a walkthrough test in order to see where there may be oversites in the plan or old information no longer in use.
· Performing simulations are to run the plan when there are no problems with no services being disrupted.
· Parallel testing to ensure the recovery systems can perform transactions and necessary applications.
· Use rollover testing to see if your recovery systems can handle full workloads after the main systems are pulled offline.
Creating Multi-Day Backups
Having the proper backups in place in the event of system failure and disaster event is a necessity for all businesses large and small in any industry or service. Technicians need to have multiple back points in order to get closer to when the event happened and roll the machines back to functioning status with the smallest amount of data loss. Staff should also be reminded to save documents often and if the business has multiple backup points to multiple places such as servers and cloud.