Disaster recovery planning is a challenge for every organization. The challenge doesn’t come from understanding the ‘what’ of disaster recovery; everyone knows what should be done to appropriately protect for disasters. The challenge for most organizations comes with the ‘how’ and the ‘when’ in disaster recovery planning.
Understanding (and implementing) the “how” of disaster recovery involves a great deal of thought and preparation to ensure that data is backed up to the appropriate location at the appropriate time to ensure disaster recovery processes work without a hitch when the time comes. Also, backup systems must be implemented and prepped to be able to take on the burden of systems that are lost during a disaster.
In addition to preparing data and systems for disaster, the “how” of recovering from any disaster must be considered. How will data and systems be restored? How will staff access systems and data in order to recover from any disaster? While these questions might be considered basic disaster recovery questions, they are the important ones to answer before disaster strikes.
A challenge that arises along with the “how” of disaster recovery is the “when” of disaster recovery. When should data be backed up? When should data be replicated across multiple locations to ensure redundancy? When should restoration procedures be tested? When is your disaster recovery plan ‘good enough?’
Adding to the many challenges of disaster recovery, IT professionals have a very keen focus on getting their systems and data (and organization) as quickly as possible. In the times of disaster, the IT group needs to be able to bring their business back online as quickly as possible. To do this, the key driving factor for IT and disaster recovery must be agility.
The cloud has brought a level playing field to the IT professionals for many aspects of business but it especially shines in the realm of disaster recovery. With the flip of a switch, organizations can have fully redundant systems and backups for all aspects of the business. Additionally, when disaster strikes an organization’s data center, it is fairly easy to flip another switch and recover their systems, data and functionality from these cloud-based systems.
While the cloud isn’t the answer to every disaster recovery problem, it is an answer to those organizations looking to enable or expand agility within their data center, IT group and disaster recovery plans.
An effective disaster recovery plan requires an agile data center requires and an agile IT group. How effective (and agile) are your disaster recovery plans?