Sounds a little dramatic but if there was a fire in your office and you could save only one thing what could it be? Obviously not that flower vase or lamp. You may want to save something that could help you recover your business after the fire. It is important to evaluate a disaster recovery plan for your business. A disaster recovery plan includes that which data will you want to save on priority basis and which data will you be needing during or immediately after a disaster. And not to forget it also includes to classify data your business can survive without.
When you create your Disaster Recovery plan, you’ll need to weigh the trade-offs between complexity vs. costs. What data can you afford to be without? For how long? If you lost some data, would that destroy your business forever? To evaluate a disaster recovery plan, you need to set priorities in case of disaster.
While creating a disaster recovery plan you need to weight your options. You need to evaluate what data you cannot absolutely afford to lose at any cost? What data you’ll be wanting during or immediately after the disaster? Is there some data that doesn’t need to be saved because your business can survive without it?
PRO is a calculation of data that you are willing to lose. You can classify your data into categories including the one you can’t afford to lose and the data you can let go of. You might want to keep your record of purchase orders at high priority but you could set your lists of office furniture to the data of least priority.
RTO is an assessment of the time duration that your business can survive without data. You could decide that how many hours you can delay your business operation in case of disaster. The shorter the time is, the higher is the cost. So, it is important that you consider all your options carefully.
You may want to categorize your employees according to the urgency of the operations they perform. Which employee should get their data first? Who will be in charge in case of disaster? Who is the backup resource for backup? How much of your backup can you leave to human intervention which man not be available all the time in case of disaster?
How are you going to ensure that all compliance policies are abide by in operations performed during disaster?
You need to analyze which data is critical for running business and which departments are dependent on what data for running their operations.
Often, companies make a disaster recovery plan and that is it. They do not test the plan or train the persons for hypothetical disaster scenarios. As a result, when the disaster hits, the plan fails whether it is a storm, a fire or cyber-attack. The plan is of no use if it is not rehearsed enough to be put into action in case of disaster.
Business requirements, resources and circumstances shift over time. From location, to employees to data. It is important to evaluate a disaster recovery plan and test it at least twice or thrice a year to ensure that it is in tune with your business goals and up-to-date.
After you have figured out your plan, train all personnel associated with the plan. To ensure that your plan is successful in any scenario, make sure that the higher management agrees to the plan and endorse it.
A cloud solution can help you find a good balance between cost and complexity. With Azure Site Recovery, you can easily create disaster recovery plans in the Microsoft Azure portal. The disaster recovery plans can be as simple or as advanced as your business requirements demand.