How modern data protection solutions ease DR planning

What is Disaster Recovery Plan and why we need it nowadays?

The main purpose of IT is the quick and effective processing of information. Data drives the business. You use many devices where your data is stored and processed. Cloud environments, local servers, endpoint devices. Any interruption in the functioning of the infrastructure can lead to very serious consequences. Disaster recovery stands for rules and procedures implemented after the occurrence of a disaster both natural and man-made, to restore the full functionality of your IT infrastructure. Its representation is an information technology disaster recovery plan (IT DRP).

A disaster recovery plan is a very important part of business continuity. Not having it can lead your business or your clients to serious financial problems or loss of reputation. On average, businesses lose over $100,000 per ransomware incident due to downtime and recovery costs. (source: CNN)

4 steps in DR planning

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1. Identification

Identify disaster risks and business critical applications, documents, and resources. You should identify and assess the risks to your organization. This step should include items related to natural disasters, man-made emergencies and technological incidents. This will help you or the DRP development team to define the strategies and resources needed for disaster recovery within predetermined and acceptable timescales.

The organization must evaluate its business processes to determine which are critical to the organization’s activities. The plan should focus on short-term survival, such as generating cash flow and revenue, rather than a long-term solution to restore the organisation’s full operational capability.


2. Estimation

We define the key parameters that are key to maintaining business continuity. We use here the RTO (Recovery Time Object) metric, i.e. the time after which critical services must work. The shorter the time, the higher the costs of maintaining the backup infrastructure, but also the greater the stability of business operations.

The second value is RPO (Recovery Point Object), which determines what data is crucial to restore, so that the company does not lose operation (or how much data we may lose). It is worth noting that maintaining systems that backup all data is extremely expensive and often technically difficult.

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3. Protection

We recommend a 3-2-1 backup strategy. It means having at least three copies of your data (or business critical data), two of which are local but on different media, and at least one offsite copy.

Data backup and recovery should be an integral part of your business continuity and disaster recovery plan. Developing a data backup strategy begins with determining what data to copy, selecting and implementing hardware and software backup procedures, scheduling and performing backups, and periodically validating data to ensure that it is properly stored.

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4. Testing

46% of small businesses have never tested their BDR plan – according to Riverbank’s Annual BDR Survey

Testing disaster recovery should be a formal, scheduled process. During it, we check whether the adopted DRP will work when it is really needed. An executable “test plan” is an essential part of the testing process, along with the execution of actual tests and the analysis of related results. Disaster recovery plans will quickly lose value and meaning if not tested regularly.

Disaster Recovery questions

A disaster can happen anytime, anywhere. This can be common disk sector damage, but also the destruction of the entire infrastructure. So the consequences can be serious.  One can paralyze a critical server or shut down several entire data centers. When preparing for disaster recovery, consider the worst-case scenario. In other words, you need to be prepared to be able to recover data in the same efficient manner regardless of the type of disaster that affects a company. In most cases, you can’t predict it, but you can prepare to minimize the damage it can cause to business and recover your key data (basic functionality). You must find the answers to the following questions:

  • If something happens, how long will it take to recover my business data?
  • How will this affect my business in the future?
  • How to resume operation after disaster recovery?
  • How much does it cost me to not have access to my critical data for some time?

Disaster Recovery Solutions for Businesses

Storware is a data protection software company. Storware solutions can be used for data backup and recovery of virtual machines, containers and cloud environments, as well as to protect SaaS application – Microsoft Office 365 data – OneDrive for Business SharePoint and Exchange Online.

Data Backup is a Core of DRP

The cost of building parallel data centers is still very high. Implementation of DRaaS solutions (Disaster Recovery as a Service) can meet the expectations of all-size businesses, it’s cost-effective and easy to manage. Modern data protection is the most important part of the Disaster Recovery Plan, ensuring business continuity and minimizing both RTO and RPO. Recovery strategies should focus on networks, servers, desktops, laptops, wireless devices, data, and communications. Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) are the two most important parameters of a disaster recovery plan. In this context data backup is the essence of the DR plan. Even though Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is a document containing a list of procedures necessary to ensure the functioning of the company in the event of a disaster or a very serious accident, access to company’s data and assets is crucial. By carrying out these instructions, it should be possible to recreate the operation of the key elements that ensure the organization’s operation. The document includes all the activities that must be performed before, during and after an event classified as a disaster. It is worth considering several points:

  • Does the current schedule of your backup allow you to easily restore processes and data?
  • Will any data that you may lose between successive backups be acceptable and not negatively affect the overall operation of the company?
  • Which data should be restored first?

What's the weakest link?

By performing recovery tests you can easily determine the time you need after a failure to recover lost data and restart processes in the company. With the right procedures and training, the crew will always know what to do when something bad happens. Why is this important?

Never forget the human factor. Man can be the weakest element of any, even the best thought out and organized system. Failure is always stressful. This means that your employees will be stressed, they may also face anger, fear, or frustration. That is why it is very important to ensure that employees are well trained, that they can deal with stress, that they know the procedures, and can control the situation. A good plan will help your people be calmer during a breakdown, and a well-trained crew will give you peace of mind that the plan will be properly implemented. Repeat your plan, test it, analyze errors, identify vulnerabilities, and make improvements.

Disaster Recovery Solutions

Storware develops a first-class data protection solution to help organizations maintain business continuity for cloud and virtual environments and endpoints. Learn more.