Disaster recovery plans aim to keep a company up and running through all types of interruptions, such as IT system crashes, power failures, natural disasters, and supply chain problems.
When disruptive events occur, businesses can suffer a significant financial loss. The average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute, according to Gartner, Inc.
A disaster recovery plan (DRP) encourages business continuity and minimizes financial and reputational losses. Learn more about the disaster recovery process and the importance of responding appropriately to data losses, breaches, and system failures.
Types of Disaster Recovery Plans
Businesses may rely on various disaster recovery plans. These plans will vary depending upon the severity of the event, the length of downtime, and the amount of data loss during the incident. Some of the most common types of disaster recovery plans include:
Backup – This simple type of disaster recovery involves storing data off-site or on a removable drive. Although backup recovery can help provide some level of business continuity, the IT infrastructure itself is not backed up.
Cold Site – In a cold site disaster recovery plan, an organization sets up basic infrastructure in a second facility to provide employees with a place to work after a fire or other natural disaster. With a cold site, business operations can continue, but organizations do not have a way to protect or recover data.
Hot Site – In a hot site disaster recovery plan, an organization retains up-to-date copies of all data. Hot sites can be time-consuming to set up, but they can significantly reduce downtime.
Point-in-Time Copies – Also known as point-in-time snapshots, this plan involves making a copy of the entire database at scheduled intervals. The data can be restored from a backup if stored on a virtual machine or off-site.
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) – When a disaster or data breach occurs, a DRaaS provider can move a business’s computer processing to a cloud infrastructure, allowing the organization to continue operations.
Virtualization – With a virtualization plan, an organization can back up certain data or operations on off-site virtual machines that stay unaffected by physical disasters.
Developing a Disaster Recovery Plan
One of the best ways that an organization can prepare and protect itself from a disaster is to develop a strong disaster recovery plan. A disaster recovery plan should address any type of disaster and include the following:
1. Identify a Disaster Recovery Team
The disaster recovery team is responsible for developing and implementing the DRP. The disaster recovery plan should identify each member of the team and provide sufficient contact information.
Describe each team member’s role and who should be contacted at each stage of the emergency and recovery process. All employees should be informed of their responsibilities and understand all aspects of the plan.
2. Assess Disaster Risks
The next component of the disaster recovery process involves identifying and assessing disaster risks. These risks should include all types of incidents, such as man-made emergencies, natural disasters, and technology-related incidents. With this information, the team can more effectively develop strategies for recovering from disasters in an acceptable time frame.
3. Evaluate Critical Resources
Organizations must also evaluate their existing business processes to determine what resources, documents, and applications are most critical to business operations. A disaster recovery plan should primarily focus on short-term needs, such as creating cash flow. It should also place focus on processes that cannot be delayed, such as employee payroll.
4. Create Backup Procedures
Having a backup plan is critical for every business, regardless of size or industry. A disaster recovery plan should specific backup procedures and identify any off-site storage facilities.
During this stage of the process, consider how the backup will be performed, the location of the backup, and how frequently backups should occur. Also define what documents, equipment, and applications should be backed up and stored.
5. Test and Maintain the Plan
One of the final steps of the disaster recovery process involves testing the plan. Undergoing routine testing helps ensure that no important recovery components have been missed and that the plan provides comprehensive recovery strategies based on the business’s unique needs.
Businesses are always changing; therefore, disaster recovery planning is an ongoing process that should be constantly maintained. The recovery team should routinely update the plan to accommodate new technology changes, business processes, and evolving risks.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Organizations that suffer IT disasters or other catastrophic events can face significant data loss, making it challenging to continue normal business operations.
Working with a managed IT services expert can help ensure that the organization recovers quickly after a disaster and is able to stay in business, even after a major data loss or system failure. For more information about the disaster recovery process or to speak with a managed IT service provider, contact SeaGlass Technology today.