Disaster Recovery is ‘make or Break’
Research shows that most firms hit by a catastrophic event, without no disaster recovery plan, go out of business within two years. Even a basic disaster recovery plan will increase the chances of recovery.
Disaster Recovery Tips
1. Store your system passwords in at least two separate secure locations. only one of which is in the same building as your IT equipment. At least two staff have should have access to them.
2. Document, document, document! Make sure that the whole recovery process to get you up and running again is documented, and includes the locations of system recovery and other critical discs. Make sure that key staff are familiar with these.
3. Establish an automated system to notify critical staff of disaster by text. These staff should be thoroughly trained so that they can perform basic disaster recovery/back-up tasks unsupervised. You may be able to do this through an arrangement with a third-party service provider.
4. Practice your disaster recovery plan on a quarterly basis or more. This not only hones your disaster recovery team’s skills but it will also familiarize new staff with the procedure, and ensures that your disaster recovery strategy is kept up to date by revealing any issues with new equipment or software.
5. No matter how good your disaster recovery plan, it cannot recover data if you neglect to back it up. Make sure there is a routine for backing up data regularly, and ensure it is done. Using at least Raid Level 5 (Raid Level 10 if the budget allows) to ensure data duplication ensures fault tolerance. Build as much redundancy in your system as possible to remove any single points of failure. This includes a multi-path data route to the system, so that you can still access your data if one path fails.
6. Arrange to have spare hot hard disk drives already in the system, or at least physically available in the same room as your storage system.
7.A tape archive strategy is crucial. Tapes used on a daily basis should be replaced every six to nine months to avoid deterioration – backups are no use if they cannot be recovered. Other tapes should be replaced on a regular, less frequent, schedule based on the frequency of use. Being able to back up to a remote location is worth almost any price, a fireproof vault is not an alternative to an off-site location.
8. Get yourself the best, longest-life, most uninterruptible power supply you can. Then get an additional battery back-up for your cache to go with it.
9. Don’t neglect to protect yourself from random theft, vandalism and employee malice, they can be just as disastrous as anything else. At the very least ensure that the door to your data/server room is locked, day and night.
10. An automatically closing fire door to the data/server room will keep fire and smoke out of the room for a surprisingly long time
Common Faults in Disaster Recovery Plans
Most disaster recovery plans that fail do so from lack of backups, lack of practice, or lack of documents. A basic but documented plan with recent backups and practiced staff will work better than a grandiose scheme let down on any of these points.
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