Planning for a Disaster

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Planning for a Disaster

Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster Recovery Plan
It’s the stuff of Hollywood films, a meteor strike, alien invasion & swarms of locus! Admittedly, most of these are pretty unlikely to hit your business but recent years have shown us that floods, power cuts & supply chain collapse are highly likely for any business. How your business copes with any of these problems could determine whether your business is still trading in 5 years from now. In fact, 40% of businesses that experience a critical IT failure go out of business within one year. In the case of suffering a fire, 44% of enterprises fail to reopen and 33% of these failed to survive beyond 3 years.
But not all is lost, a decent DR (Disaster Recovery) Plan will allow your business to function despite any of the above cataclysmic events, well maybe with the exception of an Alien Invasion. We’ve got 5 steps that will enable you to sail through any disaster:
1) A good back-up plan – this is the foundation to any decent Disaster Recovery Plan. Your backups need to be regular, complete & restorable. An external hard drive is the very minimum. But it relies on you remembering to take a backup. Our recommendation is for an application like Acronis True Image. An application like this offers a full image back-up which gives you 100% guaranteed back-up. For larger companies using Virtualisation something like Veeam gives you backup & recovery in a very easy to use application.
2) Uninterruptable Power Supply – this is a physical device which is basically a big battery. It is plugged into your mains and keeps itself charged while powering any device connected to it. In the event of you losing power to your site, the UPS will allow you to run your critical systems until your power can be restored. A decent UPS is not cheap, we would recommend a vendor such as APC. A rack mounted UPS, for 5 devices will cost you around £1500. But this is an investment in protecting your business. The UPS should last you at least 7-8 years.
3) Cloud Systems – the big advantage of Cloud is that it’s location independent. This means you can access the resource from wherever you are (internet connection dependent). There are numerous cloud providers. Applications like Office 365 or Google Apps gives you your core applications in the cloud. Other applications like Sage Online can give you the flexibility of having your accounting hosted in the cloud, accessible even if you lose your site. Cloud storage also gives you numerous options for your backup plan, from a very low monthly cost.
4) Removing Single Points of Failure – this is getting a little more technical but still not out of the reach of most people. Single points of failure are devices or processes that if they fail will stop the business. The most common one is something like your ISP router, most companies will only have one. But if it fails it will likely stop your emails, cloud applications, internet & VoIP. The cost of a backup router is relatively cheap, usually under £100. It can be worth it in the long run just to have one in a cupboard ready for the unknown.
5) Considering Virtualisation – in recent years virtualisation has really been an enabler for all businesses. Basically, it allows you to make your hardware do much more removing the need for your operating system to interact directly with the hardware. Meaning you can run many more servers off the same traditional hardware. Where is comes into its own is the ability to migrate your servers or virtual desktops off one piece of hardware to another. This flexibility is incredibly important for disaster recovery, with companies being able to move entire servers quickly and easily in the event of a hardware or site failure.
These are just considerations for your disaster recovery plan. The actual plan requires planning for any eventuality. The plan should take you through step by step what you need to do to get your business back up & running. This could include keeping a note of all the numbers of our utility companies including the relevant account numbers.
Putting all this into a plan, you also need to consider where the plan is to be stored. Keeping one copy of a hard drive on a PC would be considered a bad idea! Keep one copy on site & another off site where that’s on cloud storage of a DVD ROM. Just ensure that if you update the DR plan then you need to update all the versions.
We can help you with setting up & planning your Disaster Recovery process. You can take advantage of our FREEaudit of your systems. We can determine your single points of failure and suggest the best methods for developing your own DR plan. Most importantly we can test your DR plan to make sure it does work when you need it. Don’t leave it until it’s too late!
By | 2017-07-04T09:39:50+00:00 February 22nd, 2017|Category Two|0 Comments

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