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Disaster Recovery Planning: A Checklist

Jim Kothe
Published

Your Disaster Recovery Toolkit: Network Availability Basics

Question: If a disaster were to affect your IT infrastructure, how long could your business survive?

Answer: Unless you actively test your disaster recovery plan, chances are you will be out of business within one year. Take note: less than 50% of U.S. corporations actively engage in the testing of their disaster recovery plans.

Evaluating Your Disaster Recovery Plan:

To ensure the protection of your business critical data and the continuous availability of your network, it’s imperative that you evaluate the scalability, testing and risk impact of your current disaster recovery plan:

Scalability: Not every disaster happens on a large scale. In fact, more than 50% of system failures are attributed to localized power outages or IT failures – not a major disaster. To ensure a wide net of protection, your disaster recovery plan needs to account for disasters of varying scales.

Testing: Your infrastructure, as well as threats to your infrastructure, will continue to evolve at a lightning pace. (For instance, a recent merger acquisition may have added an extra layer of complexity to data recovery). This is why testing—both planned and surprised—needs to take place on a routine basis. While this may put a drain on internal resources initially,think of every test as an opportunity to discover, strengthen and eliminate weaknesses. With this in mind, your disaster testing should:

  • Occur once every six months—at minimum
  • Encompass your entire infrastructure, including data and application stored off-site
  • Offer insights for updates and enhancements

Risk Impact Analysis: As your business grows, evolves and changes, so will the risks. For this reason, it is advisable to create a risk impact analysis report, one that you will update every time you conduct your business continuity tests. Remember, risk analysis should include calculating the actual costs of downtime:

  • Loss of sales orders
  • Impact on invoicing and reduced cash flow
  • Negative impact on the quality of customer service
  • Missed deadlines
  • Idle or underproductive employees
  • Need for additional human resources

Of course, the best solution is to not just prepare for this downtime, but to prevent it. This is where Expedient can help. Visit one of our data centers today to learn how we can help ensure your data availability.

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