Disaster Recovery: Better safe than sorry

What's the lifeblood of your business? Typically, you'll hear an answer like 'our people', or 'our commitment to the customer'...but while there are events that can hurt a business, there are also events that can bring your company to its knees, in a matter of minutes. Or seconds.

Your responsibility as an IT professional is to put a strategic contingency plan in place to be able to restore mission critical systems within a specific time frame in order to minimize losses.

Do you have a Disaster Recovery plan? Is it tested? Yes, I said tested. Not in a theoretical, process-driven sort of way. Does your organization have Restore Time Objectives (RTOs), and/or Restore Point Objectives (RPOs) that have been tested and verified to be met or exceeded?

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the duration of time and a service level within which a business process must be restored after a disaster in order to avoid unacceptable consequences associated with a break in continuity.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is the age of files that must be recovered from backup storage for normal operations to resume if a computer, system, or network goes down as a result of a hardware, program, or communications failure.

What constitutes a disaster? Here are some interesting statistics regarding the cause of IT related 'disasters':

  • 60% Human Error
  • 56% Unexpected Updates & Patches
  • 44% Server Room Issues
  • 29% Power Outages
  • 26% Fire or Explosions
  • 10% Earthquakes

Don't put this off. It's time to put proper disaster recovery planning at the top of your current list of IT initiatives.

A disaster isn't a disaster until it's a disaster. By then, it's too late.

What is your cost of downtime? Here are some statistical averages:

$164,000/hour - small businesses

$215,000/hour - medium sized businesses

$686,000/hour - large businesses

Know your cost of downtime. Have a plan in place. Test that plan. If you aren't able to test your plan...it's not good enough.

'Oh sh-t' happens. Don't let it put you out of business.

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