The Ultimate Disaster Recovery Checklist

The Ultimate Disaster Recovery Checklist

Just this week a business near to us (but not a client) suffered an intense fire, which effectively burnt their premises to the ground. They are now in the perilous position of having to recover data, but the location of that data is uncertain and access to what’s left of the building is prevented for safety reasons.  As a result, I thought it would be worth publishing the below content for the benefit of our clients (and prospective clients) to avoid the crippling effects of a disaster.

STAY ONE STEP AHEAD OF POTENTIAL DISASTERS

Prepare yourself before disaster strikes. When it comes to data backup and disaster recovery (BDR), being prepared for potential disasters is key to keep your business running. It’s not only important to have a disaster recovery solution you trust, but to make sure you test it as well.

Prior to a disaster ever occurring (and unfortunately it’s a matter of when and not if) ask yourself the following:
  • Do you have a disaster recovery solution in place?
  • Do you trust it?
  • When was the last time your backup was tested?
  • How long does it take to recover from your current backup solution?
  • How long can you realistically be down? 1 hour? 1 day?
  • What is the financial cost of downtime to your business?
  • When a disaster occurs, is there an offsite copy?
The disaster moment has occurred—time to walk through the following steps:

1. Assess the problem and its impact on your business

Every disaster is different. Before doing anything, understand the underlying issue and how it may affect you.

  • Is the issue local to one machine, or does it affect your entire system?
  • Have files been deleted or are servers/workstations down?

2. Establish recovery goals

Recovery is what makes a BDR solution different from a simple backup product. Plan out your road to recovery.

  • Restore the system, the data, or both? Should time be spent recovering files and folders before system recovery?
  •  Identify critical systems and prioritise recovery tasks.
  • What date/time should you recover from?
  • How long can your recovery take?

3. Select the appropriate recovery type(s)

To get to your “road to recovery”, the appropriate recovery proceduremust be followed. Think about which approach will best get you to your end goal.

  • File restore. OR
  • Local virtualisation. OR
  • Off-site virtualisation.

4. Verify the recovery and confirm functionality with users

Once a recovery is verified, confirm that it interacts positively with users.

  • Test network connectivity.
  • Ensure all users can access resources and applications in the virtual
    environment.

5. Restore the original system(s), if needed

If the original system(s) needs to be restored, decide which restoration process will work best.

  • Bare metal restore. OR
  • Virtual machine restore.

6. Self-assess afterwards

After it’s all said and done, take a step back and think about it: How well did your team do? What could you have done differently?

  • What precipitated the failure?
  • What ongoing issues need to addressed?
  • What can be done better in future DR scenarios?

It sounds a bit technical doesn’t it? In that case, get in touch with CTO, Managed IT Services and allow us to scope a Disaster Recovery and, more importantly, a Business Continuity solution for your business. We are only a phone call away from providing reassurance for your business.

Thanks

Richard

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