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5 Best Practices to Ensure a Reliable Disaster Recovery Plan

According to a report released by the Ponemon Institute and Emerson Network Power, downtime costs for 2016 so far are nearly $2.5 million, and maximum downtime costs have increased 32% since 2013. With tornado season winding down and hurricane season fast upon us, it seems there is always a possibility of disaster that could threaten your productivity. In the middle of a disaster, the last thing you want to worry about is your data and its safety. To ensure a reliable disaster recovery strategy, be sure to employ the following practices:

Ensure correct sizing and requirements.

Every environment is unique, and businesses have different requirements to function. Establishing the user requirements, workloads, resources, and bandwidth required to continue operations in the event of a disaster is an important step in DR planning. By considering these things as you map out a DR plan, you are ensuring you have the resources and correct working set-up necessary for your employees to continue to support and maintain your business. As your business grows, these requirements should be revisited so that your growth doesn’t result in a mismatched DR solution that no longer fits your needs.

Document the plan and train employees.

In order to be prepared for a disaster, your employees should know how to react. There should be documented procedures to follow and all employees should be aware of them. We recommend annual training to go over procedures and answer any questions from employees. Additionally, policies and procedures should be easily accessible before and during a disaster.  

Establish your RPO and RTO.

Establishing your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is an important part of making a reliable DR plan. The RPO is the point in time you want to recover back to, and the RTO is the amount of time it takes to recover the data previously saved. Immedion offers one hour recovery point and four hour recovery time objectives. We make it our mission to get you back up and running as soon as possible.

Test Regularly.

Ensuring a DR plan will run properly and be seamlessly executed in the event of a disaster requires regular testing and training. All IT and staff members should be trained in DR management and aware of the proper steps that need to occur in the event of a disaster. During testing, any issues should be noted down and adjusted. This way, you’ve verified that your DR plan will work and function if needed. Regular testing and the tweaks that may result are an important aspect of ensuring the reliability of your DR solution. How will you know if the environment works for you if you never check?

Leverage virtualization when applicable.

Using a Cloud-based disaster recovery, especially in conjunction with more traditional measures, is a great way to ensure faster recovery times and a reliable DR environment. As mentioned in last month’s blog, Cloud-based disaster recovery means the ability to save data, applications and more onto virtual servers that can be copied and spun up later. That simplicity and ease of management ensures the data is right where you need it when you need it. Plus, it’s not difficult to add resources to your DR cloud as your business grows, making adjusting the sizing and requirements of your DR plan easy.

Planning for a disaster makes all the difference when one is at hand. At Immedion, we work with our customers to ensure they are getting the best DR plan for their needs and budget. Ensuring that your disaster recovery plan is reliable and functional is an important aspect of disaster preparedness and planning.

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