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2 Steps to Choosing a Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery (DR) Provider

Disaster Recovery Best Practices - Quest

Disaster Recovery is one of those best practices you can’t imagine needing – until your business gets hit by a power failure, bad weather, or a single-point-of-system failure you didn’t realize was there.

Suddenly, you need help. You need the right provider with the right solution, right now. In my last post, I reviewed the reasons why a cloud-based Disaster Recovery solution may be the best proactive measure for sustained resilience and outright prevention.

It remains sound advice – but how do you choose the right provider of cloud-based DR services?

Step A: Understand Disaster Recovery services basics

Regardless of the Disaster Recovery services, technologies, or methods deployed, any DR solution you choose should minimally include the ability to:

  • Failback after failover
  • Cope with the impacts of disruption/disaster on your site’s capacity and performance
  • Protect against the loss of cached data (which often has not been stored) during power failures – an increasingly common necessity in today’s 24×7 online business environments
  • Quickly resume data backup operations (how quickly may depend on the regulations affecting your business)

Step B: Learn how to evaluate potential DRaaS providers

One of the most important Disaster Recovery best practices occurs before any DR discussion starts – identifying the Disaster Recovery services provider that best fits your business needs.

You’ll want a DR services provider that:

  1. Understands DR strategy as well as technology tactics. The right provider can help you conduct a business impact analysis to identify your risks and their consequences. Among other things, this includes defining and classifying the numerous business processes and metrics required for DR planning, including a hierarchy of business-essential systems and data, realistic recovery objectives, and budget.
  2. Fields a leading-edge technology infrastructure run by experienced IT professionals that meets SSAE 16 Type II standards as well as other regulatory requirements (e.g., HIPAA, GLBA, PCI-DSS), and adheres to rigorous digital and physical security measures. In particular, look for a DR provider able to combine virtualized data replication, secure data storage, and Disaster Recovery capabilities in a resilient cloud environment that encrypts data in storage and in-transit.
  3. Offers service-level agreements (SLAs) that can be customized to meet your precise requirements. When it comes to Disaster Recovery, one size does not fit all.
  4. Can help keep your DR plan up-to-date and regularly tested.
  5. Is willing to conduct an assessment of your firm’s current DR stance and lets you try their services before you “drive them off the lot.”

This all adds up to the ultimate rule in Disaster Recovery best practices: you must be able to trust your DR services provider.

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