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Do You Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan is one of those things your business is better off having and not needing than needing and not having. So what is a Disaster Recovery Plan? Why exactly do you need one? And what kind of disasters can happen that will have an impact on your business?

Image of a distressed man in IT room wishing he had a disaster recovery plan

Disaster Recovery is the policies, processes and procedures that are related to prepping for or taking action to regain function of technology infrastructure and business functionality which are vital to an organization after a natural or human-induced disaster. Disaster recovery focuses on the IT or Technology systems that support business functions.

A disaster can be created by Mother Nature when she chooses to send floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, or earthquakes your way. It can also be the result of human actions, such as dropping equipment, spilling chemicals on equipment, equipment failure, or power outages due to any reason. There really is nothing you can do to stop a natural disaster from occurring and accidents happen. But what you can do is have a plan in place to help minimize the damage events like these can cause.

Having a disaster recovery plan became especially important when computers began to be the backbone of organizations. Businesses like those in the call center industry started to devise disaster recovery plans in order to continue functioning in the event of a catastrophe.

You can do little to avoid a natural disaster, but there are lots of things you can take to be prepared for one.

  • First, make sure you have good backups for your server equipment. Ensure that  these backups are either brought offsite or protected in case of a fire or flood.
  • The second item on the list is creating a Disaster Recovery plan  that clearly outlines the procedures and steps to take should a disaster strike. There will be other people who will have to look at the document, so make sure it is written clearly so anyone can read it and administer the steps.
  • It’s also important to make sure you have the physical tools in place to repair any damage that is brought on by a disaster.

For example, some of the items you will want if you are a business that needs to stay up and running are a  UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)  system and a generator in case the power goes out to keep you  on your feet. If you can’t have the generator, at least have the UPS.  This way you will be able to have time to shut down your systems without losing data.

If you can, it is a good idea to have a cold or hot site available. A cold site is a different location that has computers and servers ready to turn on and keep your system up and running by restoring the data with the backups. A hot site has the computers and servers up and running all the time, and your data is being synced with the site so you can walk in, sit down, and continue like nothing has happened. With a cold or hot site, it doesn’t have to be large, it just has to be ready to continue on while you get the main workplace  back up and running.

Man-made disasters like dropping a server, spilling chemicals on equipment, or equipment failure can largely be avoided with caution and training. It is important to take your time and be careful when doing maintenance. If the equipment fails, make sure you have a backup ready to build a new server. Or have backup equipment to put in place in case of the failure.

Keep in mind these disaster recovery ideas are just a few ways to either prevent or prepare for calamities that would otherwise be harmful to your business. Develop your own disaster recovery plan and be prepared!

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About Mark Hill

Mark Hill joined Sound Telecom in 2009. During his tenure, he has overseen every position within Sound Telecom's Information Technology Services group. Mark is now Sound Telecom's IT Supervisor. Mark oversees the company's entire IT infrastructure on a 24/7/365 basis. This includes the Spokane, Seattle and Denver facilities. Mark began his career in project management. He completed his IT degree in Spokane as an ITT Technical Institute graduate where he received a Bachelor of Science in Information Security Systems along with a minor in Networking Infrastructures. Mark is also a United States Navy veteran. He is a regular weight lifter and bodybuilder and enjoys spending time with his family.