Putting your disaster recovery plan in place

July 21 2016, by Dean Forster | Category: Cloud Services

IT infrastructure plays a huge role in every modern business – influencing everything from CRMs and internal communications to making sales and meeting customer needs. That’s why it’s so important to have your systems protected and to have a disaster recovery plan for when things go wrong.

We’ve written about the basics of disaster recovery and business continuity here. But to give you a refresh, it’s all about the planning, systems, and procedures companies put in place to prepare for any scenario that affects their ability to do business.

The real challenge

Realising the need for a disaster recovery plan is one thing. Implementing it is another. So the big question is – how can you better protect your company, and what’s the most cost-effective way of doing so? Here’s a blog post on how to do just that.

Determining your RTO and RPO

These are the two most important metric terms in a disaster recovery plan. To wrap your head around them, here’s a closer look:

• Recovery Point Objective (RPO) – this number represents how often you backup your data and the point to which systems can be restored. To know your company’s RPO, the question you have to ask is – what’s the maximum amount of data that could be unrecoverable that wouldn’t cause unreasonable damage to productivity, customer trust, and finances? You should also think about the return on investment on a RPO, and balance the need for recovery and the costs of the plan.

• Recovery Time Objective (RTO) – this number represents the time it takes to recover from a disaster. Different events often need different recovery times, so the RTO is more of a target than a solid figure. Try and accurately plan for as many likely scenarios as possible, and put in procedures that will help you meet your recovery time goals. Like with the RPO, you should always be balancing the costs.

How can the cloud help me prepare?

The cloud’s revolutionised so much about the IT industry – especially disaster recovery planning. Here’s why:

• Outsourcing disaster recovery services to the cloud is often a more cost effective and safer solution,
• Cloud-based services can offer highly redundant, secure services that can get your applications up and running quickly in the event of a disaster.

Choosing the right provider

A great cloud provider is there when you need them most. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a partner that:

• Has a reputation for reliability
• Keeps your applications running with the same speed and functionality
• Provides SLAs with strong uptime guarantees.

Why you need to plan for bandwidth

One of the quickest ways to eat away at bandwidth is by constantly uploading data to a cloud-based recovery service. It also adds cost to your recovery plan. So it’s important you’re properly covered, and have allocated enough bandwidth so that all applications aren’t badly affected.

Think about the logistics

Do you want simple data storage? Or do you need full failovers for all your applications? You should be asking yourself what you ultimately want from your cloud disaster recovery service.

When is it right to build your own service?

First of all, building your own recovery service can be costly – it means using an offsite location, owning redundant servers, and designing your own solution. That said, it may be the right choice for large companies that already own extensive infrastructure, or that must build their services in-house for compliance reasons.

Hybrid hosting and business continuity – what’s the connection?

A hybrid hosting solution has many of the features associated with disaster recovery. Companies using hybrid hosting have on-site and off-site resources, and can seamlessly switch between them. However, hybrid hosting doesn’t necessarily imply business continuity. Applications hosted in an on-site private cloud mightn’t be available in the public cloud, and there may be no system in place to regularly backup data off-site.

But hybrid does make it easier to implement a disaster recovery plan. Public and private clouds are already connected, so it may be easier to build systems of redundancy between them that allow seamless hand-offs should one or the other go down.

Ready to protect your business?

Just call us on 1800 004 943 or submit an online enquiry. We’re here to help.

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