Do’s and Don’ts for Disaster Recovery Planning

November 21, 2018

holding glasses, blue header

If any good has come from the disasters that have taken businesses offline in recent years – in some cases, permanently – it’s that the topic of disaster recovery (DR) planning is has become top of mind for more organizations.  But there’s more to creating a DR plan that simply assembling a few contacts in case an emergency occurs.

While the list that follows isn’t comprehensive, it will help you think about some of the important things to do – and not do – when developing your plan.

Do:

  • Secure management buy-in and support. This is essential for making DR planning an organization-wide priority and ensuring that it receives the time and resources necessary.
  • Determine how much data you have as part of your initial IT asset inventory. You’ll need this for pricing out back-up and recovery, data storage and other DR components.
  • Map applications software and hardware back to the business processes they support. Only then can you assign recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives (RTO/RPO) for those processes.
  • Match the RTO/RPO of applications and data with storage systems capable of achieving the appropriate level of service delivery. The technology is less important than the ability to meet commitments.
  • Include and document layers of contingencies such as IT and/or manual workarounds.
  • Incorporate “mobile” in your plan.  This is particularly important due to the growing mobile workforce and the increasing dependence on mobile communication. 

Don’t:

  • Rely only on data back-up or cloud data storage for your DR plan. DR is how you recover that data, re-host applications, reconnect networks and get back into production running your business.
  • Assume your network can handle increased traffic during an emergency. VPN usage can spike from a normal 20 percent to 80 percent or more capacity usage when workers are trying to access the corporate network remotely.
  • Overlook other networks services, such as external DNS or SMPT servers. Contract with a second ISP or other service provider to back up these systems.
  • Forgo simulating real-life incidents and have independent reviews and observers when testing the execution of your plan. Otherwise, you’ll never really know it or you team will do what you need them to do.
  • Wait after testing your plan to examine detailed logs. Identify procedural errors, eliminate those errors and re-test the changed procedures. Incorporate the changes into the recovery plan, revising all documents.
  • Neglect to update your plan whenever business alignments shift, there are new sites or building layouts, vendors change or are added, or you conclude a merger or acquisition.

Next Steps

To get started on your DR plan — or ensure what you have is best suited for your organization, contact US Signal for your free DR assessment by clicking here. Or, call 866.2. SIGNAL or email us at info@ussignal.com to set up a time to discuss your DR or other IT infrastructure and services needs.