When pain is avoidable, it pays to have a plan.
Do You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan?
Data has always been part of the backbone of every successful business. As a 3-part series, we will explore Backups, Monitoring and Redundancy on a high level.
Time and time again we see new clients come to us unaware of the importance of a proper disaster recovery plan for their IT infrastructure. An attitude usually stemming from the assumption that “it will never happen to me” and is therefore not a priority for their business. As David Tozzi-Condivi explained last week, not having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is a lot riskier than you may think.
In Australia we’re no strangers to natural disasters be it fires, floods or tropical cyclones and these are not the only disasters you should plan for. A “disaster” to your business would be any situation in which your critical hardware/software systems experience failures for any number of reasons resulting in massive loss of data and productivity.
Whilst major disasters requiring extensive hardware replacement and organisation-wide data recovery are rare, properly planning and dedicating time and resources to this scenario not only safeguards against the unlikely but also protects against the likely. Even a small incident can have significant and far-reaching consequences for your business.
Fortunately there are a few easy measures you can take to drastically reduce the impact of these events be they large or small.
A solid disaster recovery plan (broadly speaking) includes well set-up Backups, proactive Monitoring, and solid Redundancy planning.
At the core of any disaster recovery plan are the backups. Having a reliable, up-to-date, easily restorable copy of your production data is critical to any business. If there is data corruption, a hardware failure or even an entire site lost, having these backups will be your lifeline to getting back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Choosing the correct backup solution and configuring it properly is the easiest, quickest and most cost-effective way to protect your business from a disaster of any magnitude. Investing in the right backup software and hardware storage will be one of the wisest decisions you make for your business.
So you might ask, what is the right backup software and hardware for my business? The exact answer will depend on the size and complexity of your IT infrastructure but there are some key recommendations that apply to any business:
- Software: You want an application than can deliver fast and reliable backup/restore tasks as well as providing customisable, frequent and efficient system snapshots with little to no impact on your production environment.
- Hardware: Stay away from tapes! Tape drives/cartridges are an old, slow and unreliable backup media. Not to mention expensive. Any hard disk drive solution such as a NAS is without question the best option. Such a device provides large, cost-effective storage with fast read/write times and high reliability.
- Storage: As with any IT setup, the solution should be designed to be scalable. Implementing a NAS with expansion options for future increased storage will save you a lot of money down the track and gives you the flexibility to adjust the number of days, weeks, months of backup data you want to retain.
- Data Protection: Having the backup systems protected against hardware failures is just as important as your production environment. What’s the point of having backups if there is still a single point of failure? To avoid this you would always arrange your hard disk storage in an array with redundancy so a single disk failure does not cripple your system.
- Offsite: Replicating your backup data offsite to a separate geographical location such as another site in your organisation or a data centre protects against large-scale disasters such as fire that can destroy all your infrastructure (including local backup storage) at a particular location. Whilst not essential for all businesses having some form of offsite redundancy is certainly recommended for large multi-site clients.
Greenlight also provide backup and disaster recovery services. From planning, hardware and software provision, right through to monitoring and restoration– we’ve got you covered.
This is Part 1 of our 3-part Disaster Recovery Plan feature. Check out Part 2 and Part 3.