Do I Need a Disaster Recovery Plan?

This statement is most easily countered with the following question: would you fly away on holiday without travel insurance? Sure, your office in London and that island in the Caribbean are quite different in concept; but the idea of insuring against loss is one of the same whether for your business, luggage or pet. Ensuring that you have a plan in place should the worst happen is essential for a vast number of the things we do in life, but no more than for your business.

Whether your company is small or large, having the knowledge that you are fully prepared should disaster strike will allow you to rest easy. Of course there are a number of things you need to take in to account when creating your disaster recovery plan, but the creation of this in itself will enable you to better understand your business and infrastructure – which is never a bad thing.

Back up, Back up, Back up

It is surprising just how many individuals and businesses don’t understand the priority that should be given to the backing up of data. Whether on an hourly, daily or weekly basis – ensuring you have a recent copy of your data is of upmost importance. If something were to happen to your office or infrastructure you would be at a great loss should this data not be stored in a secondary location, whether internally or at an external data centre.

Server replication can enable your business to be certain that each time new data is written to a virtual disk it is backed up and replicated in a secondary location. This means that you have an additional point of access to your data, which can quickly and easily be connected to should the need arise.

Virtualisation could be key

You have a paper document sitting on your desk, how likely might it be for you to spill your tea on it or for it to get swept up on your next trip to the recycling bin? Having a secondary copy on your computer, either by scanning it in or saving the original, means that should anything happen to your paper copy you will still have a version you can access.

The same applies to your infrastructure and company data. Rather than having this sit physically, most commonly within your office building, you could have it sitting on internal and/or external virtual platforms. Not only will this mean that may be stored outside of your building in a secure location, protecting them in case of localised disaster, but it also means that they can easily be accessed should you need to relocate your office space or access data remotely.

Cloud computing can also enable a wide range of benefits for your business generally, not just in terms of disaster recovery, so it may be worth some investigation to see whether it could make improvements to your infrastructure and save you money – particularly with the CAPEX/OPEX benefits it inhibits.

So the next time you question whether you actually need a disaster recovery plan in place for your company, think about whether you would fly to Australia without travel insurance – risking the loss of the most important items in your luggage or huge financial costs should disaster strike. I wouldn’t, would you?

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