In recent years, California has experienced its share of earthquakes and wildfires. The east coast was dumped with feet of snow and bone-chilling temps, brought on by the polar vortex. And record-setting rains left parts of the southwest trapped in dangerous flash floods. The lessons learned from these natural disasters were obvious for many businesses: No matter where your operations are located, you need an effective disaster recovery plan (DRP) to protect your business from potential downtime caused by IT outages and disruptions.
When outlining recovery strategies, it’s also important to keep in mind that IT outages can — and do — occur under normal weather conditions.
Maybe you already have a DRP, which outlines steps to get your business running again after a disaster or other events disrupt your physical building, IT equipment and data records. However, if you haven’t updated your DRP recently, it’s time to review it to make sure it accommodates any expansions or changes in your business. If you don’t have a DRP, there’s no better time than now to get started on one.
Whether you’re reviewing or developing your DRP, it’s important to understand the essential components of one that fits the needs of your business. Doing so could save your company up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially if a DRP enables you to more efficiently resume normal operations. Here are a few steps to consider when developing a DRP:
1. Assess your business. Your DRP should be developed for all of your IT systems and applications, including desktops, laptops, mobile devices, networks, servers, data and connectivity. It’s important to understand how your company’s resources and activities are all connected
2. Pinpoint areas of vulnerabilities. Do a thorough analysis of your company’s operations. Which areas would be most vulnerable in case of an outage? Is it equipment, software applications, the building, data, hardware? Determine which areas need to be prioritized in strategies under your DRP. Recovery times should be quicker for those functions and processes that are crucial to getting your business back on track again.
3. Develop long-term and short-term recovery plans. Map out plans on what to do immediately following an IT outage, and how to recover in the weeks or months following the incident. Make sure you prioritize action plans for the business functions that should resume first.
4. Evaluate your data center options. If you have an internal facility to protect your data, you may want to consider having more than one facility. You could even consider outsourcing parts or all of your colocation services to a data center that specializes in these services, including IT disaster recovery. A qualified data center also can provide consulting on how to best equip your business in the event of an IT outage.
For more information on how to establish a disaster recovery plan, contact us at Lifeline Data Centers. To learn more about how we can help, schedule a tour with us today: