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The Recovery Gap – Part 2: A Short List of 5 Best Recovery Practices

360-degree arrow concept

In my last post, I shared some sobering numbers from a recent study by the DRP Council on how well  and not well  organizations recover from disruptions. Many of the problems revealed in the study can, I believe, be attributed to four causes:

  • Inadequate recovery plans that don’t anticipate the types of events that actually occur
  • Insufficient plan documentation and lack of compliance reporting
  • Not nearly enough recovery plan testing
  • Failing the recovery tests that do occur

All of this is eminently understandable  it’s hard to focus budget and time on what we prefer to regard as unlikely possibilities.

So here’s my first recovery best practice: think of your recovery plan as the best way to keep those possibilities unlikely, because when they do happen, they cost plenty. Continue reading

The Recovery Gap – Part 1: Online Presence and Prudent Preparation

Bridging the gap concept

Online presence has never been more important to your business  but behind it lurks immense technical complexity. The sort of complexity that produces things like software, network and power failures, and human error.

So, of course, it’s prudent to prepare ways to recover from such failures, mistakes and vagaries of nature, which is why so many organizations  a majority, according to a recent study by the DRP Council  deploy some sort of secondary recovery site. Though, less than 10% use cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Continue reading

The cloud comes to DR and data backup — and the numbers show why

cloud, laptop and database icon. Used to symbolize how the Cloud is used for backup and Disaster Recovery.

If you’re turning to cloud services to handle your data backup and disaster recovery needs, you’re not alone.

According to one survey conducted a few months ago by TechTarget and Computer Weekly, the adoption of cloud services for DR and business continuity will jump from just under 18% of enterprises to more than 28% in a mere six months.

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When was the last time you reviewed your DR plan?

chart of data availability solutions

Last year, disasters in the United States caused more than $60 billion in damage. And the future promises plenty more of the same, says a recent report from Swiss reinsurer Munich Re — especially in North America, where weather-related loss events have quintupled in the last 30 years.

Now add in concerns about inadequate backup of the data on employees’ smartphones and tablets, wayward virtual machines, cyberattacks and other security incidents …

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The Disruption Dirty Dozen: Asking the hard DR questions

Register button for Master Your Disaster

Regardless of their cause(s), your ability to minimize business disruptions depends on planning that’s based on a granular understanding of the risks posed to your business processes.

This planning begins with understanding who your key stakeholders are, how your organization conducts business, and what sorts of disruptions are likeliest at your locations (note that recent studies indicate power failures, hardware failures, and network failures account for more than 80% of IT-related disruptions).

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Essentials to business disaster preparedness — #5: Test your plan and review it often

Why Test your Business Continuity Plan Frequently?

Business continuity plans aren’t worth a whole lot if they don’t work. And you cannot know whether or not they work unless you test them.

So that’s my fifth step toward business disaster preparedness: Test your plan — often.

Testing your plan frequently is essential. Change has a way of sneaking up on organizations, and those changes can disrupt your carefully laid plan to overcome disruptions. Fortunately, the right service provider will include regular testing in the price of your service.

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Essentials to business disaster preparedness — #4: Pinpoint the most cost-effective disruption recovery solutions

Cost Effective Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Solutions

Okay, so your data is properly backed up, you’re monitoring its use, you’re developing a plan to protect your business and recover as quickly as possible from events beyond your control.

Now, in conjunction with your planning efforts, you need to pinpoint and then implement the most cost-effective disruption recovery solutions necessary to sustain business-critical operations when your systems and networks are down and/or when your office is unusable. This entails a three-step process that requires business continuity/disaster recovery expertise:

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Survey says — cloud, mobility, and virtualization improve disaster preparedness

Role of Cloud Computing, Virtualization and Mobility in Disaster Recovery Planning

The other day, I came across the results of a recent Symantec survey of small and midsize businesses examining the effects of virtualization, cloud computing, and mobility on disaster preparedness.

I was heartened to see results showing that more than a third of these smaller and midsize business decision-makers took disaster preparedness into account when deciding how they’d venture into virtualization, mobility, and the cloud.

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Data backup/recovery best practice #10

This last of my backup/recovery best practices is far from the least of them:

#10 Conduct regular testing and reviews of your data recovery capabilities

Backups can be corrupted (especially if they’re tape-based) and too often backups are performed incorrectly. Key files, directories, or components may have been excluded, especially if your infrastructure has undergone adds or deletes.

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Data backup/recovery best practices #6, #7, #8, and #9

Continuing with my views of backup/recovery best practices, I offer up # 6 through #9:

#6 Back up your data locally as well as remotely.

Data restores usually are faster from a local backup source than a remote one, especially for data that you recover frequently.

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