Not all disaster recovery services are created equal — and the differences between them could mean the difference between a solution that works and one that fails during a catastrophic incident. Deciphering the differences between good and bad disaster recovery services takes more than a technical eye. Organisations must also look at what the disaster recovery provider delivers from a business impact perspective as well.
1. They help you identify what’s critical to protect
You might go into a disaster recovery plan thinking you should try to protect everything. But putting everything but the kitchen sink in your disaster recovery plan can significantly increase your costs. What are the core systems you need to get up and running during a disaster? What are your most critical applications? A good disaster recovery provider will help you identify what your highly critical, moderately critical or non-critical systems are and prioritise them for your disaster recovery plan. The disaster recovery provider will then analyse your recovery point objective and recovery time objective so you know exactly what you will be able to recover in what time frame.
2. They help you determine how you want disaster recovery to play out
After you’ve decided what you need to make recoverable, you need to identify the mechanisms for doing it. Do you want automatic disaster recovery? Which scenarios will activate disaster recovery and which won’t? Who are the individuals in your organisation that decide these answers? A good disaster recovery provider will guide you along this path and ensure your plans map to your business requirements.
3. They give you configuration and recovery site options
There are different ways and places to configure your disaster recovery site. A cold site is a low-fuss, low-cost option for organisations that simply want to set up new equipment in a data centre during a disaster. Hot sites offer the most protection and the most minimal disruption during a disaster, with all critical data duplicated at another data centre site up within the time frame you need it. Look for a data centre provider that offers these options in addition to inter-data centre capability between local and regional nodes and high-availability disaster recovery available within the cloud.
4. They monitor and test your plan
How do you know your disaster recovery plan will actually work? You can reduce the risk of disaster recovery failure by choosing a provider that will monitor, test and document gaps and put corrective actions in your plan. A provider with different types of monthly and annual tests that suit your business needs can help you feel more secure about your disaster recovery investment. The best providers will have a managed service offering that addresses disaster recovery maintenance so all aspects of your plan are serviced through one local contact and contract.