For SMBs and enterprises alike, DR automation, regular testing, and employee awareness are essential to boost the efficiency of IT disaster recovery (DR) workflows. This will help ensure that desired RTOs and RPOs are met to minimize data loss consequences.
Conduct a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
Most organizations rely on IT systems for essential business functions. However, data loss, downtime, and other disasters can cause significant financial losses or even halt business operations. That’s why IT disaster recovery is so important.
According to M5 Systems LLC, conducting a BIA can help you identify the risks that are most likely to impact critical business processes. You can then create a plan to minimize these risks and prepare for possible disruptions.
The BIA process helps you determine the maximum downtime that can be tolerated for each business function. This information will help you create RPOs and RTOs for each process and develop backup strategies to meet these requirements.
Backup Your Data
When it comes to data backups, you can’t be too careful. Cyber attacks are common and more sophisticated than ever. And natural disasters can wreak havoc in any location.
The best way to keep your business running is to have multiple systems in place so that one can fail without disrupting operations. For example, consider adding software-as-a-service and cloud solutions to your data storage strategies to reduce reliance on hardware at your headquarters or data centers.
Another great way to protect your business is by storing backup files in several secure locations. Managing data hardware onsite or leveraging managed IT services from experts like M5 Systems LLC to manage your backup processes ensures you can retrieve information even if the backup medium gets compromised. Backups are only helpful if you can restore them, so test restoration regularly.
Create a Disaster Recovery Plan
Once you have conducted a BIA and know the risks of data loss, it’s time to create a disaster recovery plan. Considering any interdependencies between applications, this should prioritize the order in which computer systems must be restored.
Designate team members for each step of the DR process and provide them with training before implementing the plan during an actual disaster. This will improve efficiency and ensure that the process is followed correctly. It will also make it easier to track progress and resolve any issues that may arise.
The DR plan should be considered a living document and updated regularly to reflect changes in the business. This will help avoid unexpected issues during a disaster and allow the client to identify improvement areas.
Test Your Plan Regularly
If you fail to test your DR plan regularly, it won’t be effective when disaster strikes. In addition to financial losses, lengthy downtime can damage a company’s reputation and lead to legal penalties.
Regular tests can help your team understand their responsibilities in a disaster scenario and how to perform them best. They can also highlight gaps in your DR process and address them before they turn into catastrophes during an actual disaster.
Testing should be done under similar conditions to a real-life disaster. That includes using a backup work location so employees can continue working even if their office is unusable. Having enough people on your DR team is also crucial to avoid a single point of failure.
Use Immutable Artifacts
When it comes to IT disaster recovery, implementing the right strategies can help you avoid data loss and downtime. These strategies include using a backup system, creating a disaster recovery plan, and testing your plan regularly.
Using immutable infrastructure, a DevOps methodology that involves automation in building, testing, and deploying apps, can also improve your IT disaster recovery plan. The goal of deploying immutable artifacts is to ensure that the same application that was tested is deployed to production, preventing changes from overwriting previously tested versions.