Every company needs to have thought of and have come up with a disaster recovery plan. In IT a disaster can be deleting a critical file, your server room catching fire, or even worse the building being completely destroyed from a natural disaster. Planning is critical, and below are some steps to take when putting together your company’s disaster recovery plan.
Decisions- Prior to planning you will need to make decisions, the first decision will be your recovery point. How recent does your recovered data need to be, can it be months or days, or does it need to be within a few minutes of losing the data? The next decision you will need to make is what is your recovery time, which means how long can your business function without access to the data.
Develop and share the plan- Before creating your plan, you will need to create a disaster recovery team. Include representatives from your internal departments and external vendors including your IT company. Then work with the team leaders to create a plan specifically for your company. Include emergency contacts and vendors information in the plan, and store an additional copy outside your office. Schedule a meeting to update all employees on the steps to take in the event of a disaster, and everyone must know their role to maintain operations. Designate an alternative site for operations, at this location you must be able to perform any critical business, and this location should be over an hour away from your current location in the event a major disaster happens in your area.
Backup Data and Recovery- You must make sure you are consistently backing up your data and then moving the data off site. This data should be moved offsite daily, in case of a power outage, fire, theft, or many other instances that can cause data loss. Make a plan to recover files, if the server is destroyed what will run as your server? If your internet is down, how will your files be backed up from an offsite location?
Test and Regularly Update- Simulate your disaster plan, it is better to find out the possible flaws in your plan, before a real disaster occurs rather than during a real disaster. Find any areas that need improvement and discuss with your team options on how to improve it. Set aside time once a year to meet with your team and update the disaster recovery plan. People change, data changes, and the plan should be updated to reflect all of these changes.
The above is a general overview on how to start your disaster recovery planning. If you need any additional help, or would like to learn more about best practices please contact River Run Computers.