The New York IT Survival Guide to Disaster Recovery
Clients of any industry need to have confidence that the businesses they deal with are committed to business continuity. In the event of a blackout, earthquake, or other disaster, it is critical that a business stay operational in order to regain normalcy and retain customer satisfaction. With Hurricane Sandy's painful onset and departure, New Yorkers are experiencing first hand what devastation to a physical environment can do to business continuity.
However, with a well-executed disaster recovery plan, businesses can continue operations with minimal damage and interruption.
Before implementing disaster recovery measures, create a plan for action in the event of downtime. Formulate a procedure illustrating how data, networks, and infrastructure will be secured and made accessible. Establish which teams will be in control of which aspects, and assign a point person for each team. Review specs to determine the level of stress that can be endured by your infrastructure, and make adjustments to infrastructure if necessary. Create a timeline estimating how quickly essential services can be restored. Finally, document potential additional weaknesses and work-arounds.
1. Infrastructure and the Cloud
How your business implements its technology can predict the success of your disaster recovery plan. Backup servers can be located in different geographic areas to minimize the impact of business stoppage and lost connectivity. Leveraging cloud technology can reduce the impact on users. Any machine in the cloud can be used for data backup or as the main machine for accessing data until the original can be restored. If there is advance warning about the catastrophe, ensure that employees back up documents and data in secure locations. If your business has any functions hosted by a managed service provider, review their backup plan as well.
2. On-Site Protection
While some servers and machines in a cloud or hybrid model may be geographically dispersed, many devices and endpoints will not be. Make sure any machines are safe from water damage, theft, or accidental breakage by installing processes to relocate them to a more secure area in the event of a disaster. Also, secure endpoints with endpoint protection software before a disaster to avoid data leaks or tampering.
Inform staff, vendors, and clients of protocol in the case of a disaster. Designate points of contact for information during a disaster, and make sure that updates are sent regularly. Consider disaster recovery line recording capabilities on an 800 number, as well as fax and voicemail to allow for communication even when a business is not on their main lines. Also, continue support for customers to ensure they have access to data and updates.
4. Post Mortem
After normal operations have resumed, a business can gain valuable insight into what may still be lacking in their disaster recovery plans, in terms of data, infrastructure, communication, and cost. While all issues cannot be accounted for, a disaster recovery plan in New York, Philadelphia or any other location, is essential for maintaining business continuity. Technical consultants at iCorps understand the need to implement measures that will ensure continued workflow during, and after, a disaster strikes. Ready to upgrade your data backup strategy? Reach out for a free consultation.