IT disaster recovery planning requires a lot of detailed work covering software, infrastructure, processes and people to ensure your systems are recoverable during a disruptive incident so you minimise data loss and business risk. There are two areas that Datacom has seen even the most seemingly prepared organisations overlook in IT disaster recovery planning. With the help of the right disaster recovery provider, you can get a handle on these components of IT disaster recovery planning early on to ensure your plan will work in your organisation’s time of crisis.
1. Minimise both technical and human single points of failure
The failure of one link in the chain is all your IT disaster recovery planning needs to fall apart. Your DR provider will help you evaluate your infrastructure and equipment to identify, and then fix, single points of failure in their design. These fixes will include ensuring the failure of single servers or network switches won’t make systems unavailable or result in data loss.
Don’t forget with IT disaster recovery planning that people can also be single points of failure. Ensure you have multiple people trained for and designated to the same roles on your disaster recovery team in case one of them can’t react or fulfil the duty when an actual disaster happens. It’s ideal if these individuals are geographically dispersed so a disaster in one location doesn’t affect all the related personnel.
2. Document, test, update and repeat
You are undertaking IT disaster recovery planning to minimise risk, but if your plan isn’t tested, documented and corrected, you actually increase risk. Good IT disaster recovery planning includes the full range of disaster recovery TLC, including design, backup and recovery, testing, monitoring, documenting gaps and corrective actions.
Every step of IT disaster recovery planning needs to be physically documented to ensure the DR team can execute on the plan when the time comes. And all documents need to be stored in multiple locations — universally accessible — so they can be retrieved regardless of a disaster’s location. Tests of the entire disaster recovery plan need to be conducted every six months to a year so it can be tweaked if needed. A good disaster recovery provider will be able to conduct these annual tests, in addition to smaller recovery processes related to the plan monthly or quarterly. Plans should be updateddepending on the results of these tests and when new systems and critical software are incorporated into the organisation.
Remember that your disaster recovery plan will be a living, breathing document that will change as your business needs shift. Continue to go over your plan in detail, testing and revising with the help of your disaster recovery provider.