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An In-depth Look at Disaster Recovery Plans

An In-depth Look at Disaster Recovery Plans
April 24
09:42 2017

Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place for your business or organization? According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, almost 40% of small businesses close following a disaster [1]. Fortunately, your business doesn’t have to be one of them, provided you have a disaster recovery plan (DRP) in place.

The following offers a quick look at what a disaster recovery plan is, as well as what can happen to businesses who choose to operate without a plan in place. Finally, you will find a 5-step disaster recovery plan that you can implement today to help ensure your business is protected in the future.

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Disaster recovery is simply a plan that has been developed to protect a business or organization’s revenue, data, and reputation from the negative effects of a catastrophic event. Essentially, it is designed to make certain your business’s most vital processes can continue if a disaster were to occur. Often a part of business continuity planning, your DRP involves your IT infrastructure, data, hardware, applications, and electronic communication.

The catastrophic event, or disaster, may be man-made, such as a malware virus that wipes out your hard drive, the result of human error, or an act of mother nature, such as a hurricane or tornado that disrupts service. Keep in mind that even something as routine as an electrical surge has the potential to disrupt service and/or delete your stored data. Your disaster plan should be sufficient for a minor disaster, as well as a major disaster.

What Could Potentially Happen if You Don’t have a Disaster Recovery Plan?

There is one word that perfectly describes what could happen if your business doesn’t have a DRP. Chaos! There is a good chance that your everyday business will come to a screeching halt and you will be left with no way to perform your business’s core functions. According to a survey performed by Enterprise Strategy Group, 53% of businesses and organizations cannot withstand more than 60 minutes of downtime before they experience a significant loss in revenue or other unfavorable business impact [2]. Examples of these impacts may include:

  • Loss of customer trust (in fact, it can be almost impossible to regain a customer’s trust after an extended service outage or loss of data).
  • Significant financial costs (In addition to lost revenue, you will spend quite a bit of money trying to repair everything and reestablish the information you lost.)
  • Lost productivity and idle employees who are likely to seek other employment if there is an extended downtime, especially if they are not getting paid
  • A tarnished reputation that may be irreparably damaged
  • The loss of critical data or information that you are unable to fully recover, which will leave you scrambling to try and recreate it
  • The possibility of breaking the law (For example, if your business or organization retains your customer or client’s personal health information, you could be breaking HIPAA laws regarding the safeguarding of this pertinent data if your system is hacked.)
Your 5-Step Disaster Recovery Plan

There are 5 steps businesses and organizations of all sizes can use to develop an efficient DRP that minimizes their downtime and potential loss in a catastrophic situation. They include:

  1. Load Balancing: Load balancing involves distributing workload/ data/ information/ traffic over several different servers within a network, while simultaneously monitoring each server to determine the best way to route traffic for optimal performance and availability. This ensures that your applications continue running even if one or more of the servers goes down.
  2. Data security including automated updates: Data security with automated updates should be a crucial component of any DRP because without it there is the potential to lose absolutely everything if a disaster strikes. Your data security plan should allow your dedicated server to be restored to its pre-disaster state without requiring the operating system to be reinstalled or partitioning a new hard disk. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure backups are regularly performed, but do not impede your servers ability to operate during the process.
  3. 24/7 customer support and system administration: 24/7 customer service and administrative support ensures that you have someone to turn to in the event of an emergency. Additionally, an administrative support team can help respond to your customer’s unique needs. System Administration Plus is a managed hosting service that will allow you to concentrate on taking care of your customers instead of serving your servers. It includes two hours of expert system administration every month.
  4. Uptime monitoring: Monitoring your website’s or web application’s uptime is imperative because it makes certain that any potential problems can be resolved in a timely manner. Uptime Defender is a managed hosting service that is designed to monitor every aspect of your dedicated servers, including basic conductivity monitoring with server resource monitoring (IO, Memory, CPU) and advanced application level monitoring to make certain your dedicated servers are continually available. Any time a failure is detected, work toward a resolution based on your predetermined directives. If there is no predetermined directive, you will be notified to give authorization for the problem to be resolved.
  5. RAID storage: RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) storage is designed to enhance application performance and improve data availability. It involves storing the same data on a variety of hard disks to increase fault tolerance and read performance. When properly configured, the loss of a single disk does not inhibit your ability to access the data stored on the disk that has failed.
A Few Final Thoughts on Disaster Recovery Plans

If your business or organization has not made the creation of a disaster recovery plan a priority, it is time to reexamine your priorities. Regardless of what industry you are in, you are not immune to a disaster that could completely destroy your IT infrastructure. Undoubtedly, you have spent years creating your brand and you need to protect it. A disaster recovery plan can provide the protection you need.

[1] http://gazette.com/7-shocking-disaster-recovery-stats-for-small-business-owners/article/1590436
[2] http://www.ironmountain.com/Knowledge-Center/Reference-Library/View-by-Document-Type/General-Articles/T/The-Importance-of-a-Disaster-Recovery-Plan.aspx

 

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FindMyHost Editor

The 'Web Hosting Blog' at FindMyHost.com was established to provide the web hosting industry with the very latest in news, technology, interviews, event information and more. About FindMyHost.com: Launched in January 2001 to protect Web Host Consumers and Web Developers from making the wrong choice when choosing a Web host. FindMyHost.com showcases a selection of web hosting companies who have undergone our Approved Host program testing and provides reviews from customers.

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