Today’s Guest Blog comes to us courtesy of David Alvarado, Regional Director of Service Delivery at Peak10.
Over the last 15 years, I’ve supported companies through over 700 disasters. One of the unforgiving truths of disaster recovery I’ve learned is that the success of your recovery depends upon how well you plan – and test – your disaster strategy.
Consider preparing for a disaster like getting ready for the Big Game. If you don’t know the rules, how can you play? If you haven’t practiced, how can you expect to succeed? Even though the season is only sixteen games, professional football players spend thousands of hours in preparation. They don’t just look at the playbook and assume everything is going to work out. They practice. They strategize. They test and improve. And the truth is that if they don’t do the work, it shows up on the field where they can’t afford to make mistakes.
Here are some of the important details people often miss when working out a disaster recovery strategy:
We don’t need a plan. We have a turnkey solution: Many companies purchase a turnkey DRaaS solution and expect it to protect them. A turnkey solution is designed to do a good job for most situations. It does an excellent job simplifying getting your tier one applications up and running again. However, your business is unique, and it needs to be protected in a unique way. For example, your tier one applications might have dependencies with tier three databases. A working application is of little use when you can’t access the data you need. An effective plan needs to identify these interdependencies and recover accordingly.
Our entire business can be operational again in 24 hours: If this is the case, you’re probably spending much more on disaster recovery than you need. For example, your DevTest resources probably don’t need to be back up immediately. Disaster recovery is a process. Critical applications first, then tier two applications within 24 hours, tier three in 72 hours, and so on. Each tier can be handled differently, saving you money on your lower, less essential tiers.
We’ve got tier one covered: While lower tier applications don’t need to be up immediately, they do need to be part of your plan. Again, DevTest resources don’t need to be up immediately. If it’s been a week and they’re still down, however, you can’t make updates and this will begin to impact your operations and your customers.
We’ve had a comprehensive recovery plan in place for years: Some companies take a “one-and-done” approach to disaster recovery. They put a thoughtful plan in place, knowing they are protected, then forget about it. A robust disaster recovery plan is an evolving plan, one that adapts and changes as your infrastructure changes.
My assets in the cloud are safe: Many businesses assume, incorrectly, that their resources in the cloud have automatic disaster recovery protection. If you want your cloud assets protected, you have to implement disaster recovery yourself.
All of my data is protected, and that’s enough: If you lose your building, you’re going to lose a lot more than just your data. In fact, you might have to start back up from nothing. Does your plan include contingencies such as securing new computers for all of your employees?
We can replace whatever we lose: After a disaster, you have to move fast. But negotiating under pressure isn’t ideal. You’ll pay more when your vendors know you’re desperate. That why it makes sense to establish the relationships you need to help you get back up and running. You’ll always be able to negotiate better pricing and availability before a disaster strikes.
We have DR experts on staff to assure a smooth recovery: Sometimes you lose personnel in a disaster. And your disaster recovery plan is worth nothing if there’s no one left who can execute it. Your plan needs to be well-defined, something that a stranger could put in place. Because it might just be a stranger you have to count on.
Our operations will be up and running in no time at our backup site: Many recovery plans are great, up to Day 1. Then they begin to falter because they haven’t considered what long term recovery requires. For example, does your plan also include getting back up and running at your primary site? If you operate your business from your recovery infrastructure for too long, you may be forced to declare a second disaster, and that gets expensive.
We can restore our business exactly as it was: As disruptive as it is, disaster can be an opportunity. When you move from your recovery site, you don’t have to go back to your original infrastructure. If you’ve been thinking of migrating part or all of your operations to the cloud, this could be the right time. Peak10, for example, offers IaaS services so you can shift from your recovery site to the cloud as seamlessly as is possible.
Disaster recovery is about more than just technology. That’s why at Peak10 we work with our customers to help them successfully navigate disaster recovery. With our Cisco Powered Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), we’ll handle your immediate and 24-hour recovery concerns so you don’t have to. You can also rely on our experts to help you bridge the gap between technology and planning so you can have confidence that your disaster recovery strategy, should you ever need it, will be a success.
Learn more about how Peak10 can help protect your business with our Cisco Powered DRaaS. We also offer professional services to create a disaster recovery plan customized for your organization.
David R. Alvarado has been an industry leader for over 35 years leading worldwide organizations in Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery and Storage for Comdisco, StorageTek, and Computer Associates, and assisted in over 700 customer disaster recoveries including the Chicago Floods, Hurricane Andrew, San Francisco Earthquake, and 9/11. David has been a featured speaker at various conferences including Gartner, CA, StorageTek, Comdisco, BRPA, ITEC, and others, presenting on topics ranging from Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Strategies and High Availability Solutions, to Compliance Regulations and IT.