Is your disaster recovery plan as up to date as your technology? With the rapid pace of change in both business and technology, the hardware in your data center, the applications running on that hardware, and the employees who monitor their status change frequently. Disaster recovery (DR) plans get out of date unless they're reviewed at least annually. Without that check, you may not be as protected as you think you are—and only discover that in the middle of a crisis.
Disaster Recovery Plan Review
Your disaster recovery plan review should start with the basics: update the lists of emergency contacts (including vendors as well as IT and business staff), inventory of equipment, and mission-critical applications. There may be new legal or compliance regulations that your process needs to satisfy, and those should be identified as well.
Then you can begin reviewing your backup strategy to make sure it covers all that hardware and those mission-critical applications and meets those regulations. Along with the backup, make sure the recovery steps for those applications reflects any changes in their architecture or data volume—a process that used to meet recovery objectives may fail to meet them now if the application volume has grown significantly; in addition, application's recovery objectives can change if the application has become more or less critical over the year. It can be useful to review the minor production issues experienced during the year to generate estimates of recovery times and recovery procedures.
Once you've covered the mission-critical applications, you can start looking at the remaining applications. First assess whether any applications that were previously not considered mission critical should be recategorized; with today's business dependency on technology, there are probably few applications your business can truly do without. However, there may still be different priorities for application recovery, and it's important that you understand where your recovery efforts need to focus at the beginning.
Test Your Updated Plan
The only way to make sure your plan is accurate is to try it out in a simulated disaster recovery. Table walkthroughs are helpful but it's easy to miss steps; they also can't get you good timing numbers for how quickly your applications will really come back up. Be careful when you plan your test to make sure the test doesn't impact your live production servers and generate a real live disaster.
Make Sure Your Disaster Recovery Technology is Up to Date
After updating your DR plan, invest in the technology needed to meet your recovery objectives. This can mean implementing new backup technology, such as NetBackup or Veeam Availability Platform. You may want to consider using Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS); DRaaS provides a flexible backup and recovery solution that easily scales with your changing business.
Don’t Forget About Cloud Data
More and more data is being moved to the cloud, but do you have a recovery plan? Have you recently moved to Office 365 and are wondering how secure and recoverable your email is? Let dcVAST help you with Veeam as a Service; or with planning for the forthcoming Veritas SaaS suite.
Working with an experienced provider can ensure that your updated disaster recovery plan and updated disaster recovery technology work together to offer true protection in case of disaster. Contact dcVAST to learn how our team can help you update your DR strategy and technology to ensure your business continues despite disaster.