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An Introduction to Disaster Recovery Planning in IT

Disaster recovery is a key procedure that may assist an organization in surviving and recovering in the event of a disaster, whether it be a natural disaster, an unintentional data loss, or a malicious cyberattack. The IT disaster recovery plan enables a business to focus on, prioritize, and safeguard its risks and assets, as well as design a data protection strategy and decide the best route to resume regular operations. Learn about the standard form of an IT disaster recovery plan and how to create one for your firm.

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery (DR) plan is a document that assists an organization in responding to a crisis and taking action to avoid harm and restore operations as fast as possible. IT disaster recovery is a subset of disaster recovery that focuses on the IT components of DR, such as limiting downtime for servers, databases, and staff workstations and restoring essential systems to operational status. An IT disaster recovery strategy outlines the tools and procedures needed to do this.

How To Create A Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan might comprise a comprehensive set of practical directions for all workers who are reacting to a crisis event that may affect business IT networks and systems. The Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP) document is your road map to implementation; as such, it should be updated regularly and kept in a safe, easily accessible area in the case of an emergency. (How can you access it if it’s on the cloud but your internet is down?)

You may use the Disaster Recovery Planning document template provided below to ensure that your personnel understands and follows the methodical actionable recommendations for disaster preparedness:

  • Assess The Risk

Conduct a risk analysis and a business impact analysis (BIA). These will assist you in addressing possible dangers in the event of a disaster. When tackling this, consider anything from a medium-level calamity to the worst-case scenario. This should contain contingency measures if the entire structure is destroyed.

Consider both on-site data storage and servers and the cloud when assessing risk. This can assist you in identifying unneeded risks that you can handle immediately, rather than only after a crisis. This might be the moment to weigh your alternatives for SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Can your staff access data from anywhere? Is your IT department adequately prepared for catastrophic scenarios?

All of these elements must be considered while handling your risk.

  • Set Clear RTOs and RPOs.

Before developing an IT DRP, IT leaders should consider two ideas (and hence important performance metrics):

RTO (Recovery Time Objective): A critical statistic and performance indicator for every firm.

RTO is the time it takes to restore damaged systems to operational status; alternatively, in the case of a severe multi-site catastrophe, restore essential systems to a basic degree of operational efficiency to function, service customers, and allow workers to continue working.

A good IT DRP will keep the RTO as short as feasible. It should be a KPI and SLA for IT team members and leaders who are in charge of executing the IT DRP.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO): This is a critical indicator for which not every company is equipped. In the case of a cyber-attack resulting in mission-critical or multi-system failures, RPO is the time it takes for crucial data to be destroyed.

In many respects, it functions as a ticking time bomb for data recovery. The repercussions of data loss, particularly if backup systems are compromised, including lost income, increased customer turnover, reputational harm, and potential fines from data protection regulatory agencies.

Getting a firm grasp on each of these as part of IT Disaster Recovery Planning is a critical step that firms can take to evaluate the storage, processing, and security of data throughout their organization.

  • Network Infrastructure

Creating extensive documentation of your whole network architecture can make rebuilding the system much easier after a disaster, especially if the network was compromised by a cyberattack.

Different system components have varying degrees of relevance to business continuity, so be sure to label each service as mission-critical, essential, or nonessential so that they may be restored in the correct sequence. Include system dependencies in your plan since they may influence how you prioritize recovery.

  • Select The Right Plan

The cost of a disaster recovery system is affected by storage capacity, recovery timescale, and configuration complexity. In many circumstances, you must choose between a solution that provides short recovery times but may result in the loss of days of data and one that preserves system uptime but kills you with excessive complexity and expenses.

Look for a disaster recovery solution, such as Arcserve UDP Cloud Direct, that can safeguard your systems and applications against data loss at a low cost. Arcserve further reduces complexity by allowing you to manage backup and disaster recovery, as well as restore service-level agreements, from a single web-based interface.

  • Testing and Updating DRP

Test your disaster recovery strategy regularly to guarantee that it will operate when you need it. Run a partial recovery test twice a year and an annual complete recovery simulation.

It also doesn’t harm to surprise the organization regularly to gain an accurate assessment of how well the processes will perform in the case of a true emergency.

There will be a lot of mobility inside corporations following COVID-19. Employees may leave or join the firm, rules may be amended to meet new requirements or standards, or business divisions may be combined.

Your disaster recovery plan must be evaluated and revised on a regular basis to reflect these changes and their effects on the recovery process. Download How to Build a Disaster Recovery Plan for additional information on safeguarding and recovering your organization’s data and applications before, during, and after a disaster.

To say the least, the processes for constructing a DRP, doing exercises, and generating a backup of all your data might be onerous. It’s a major task that your IT group might not be able to complete on top of their regular duties. This can cost your firm time and money in terms of not just educating your IT employees, but also diverting them from other activities.

Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) may be the answer. A DRaaS provider will begin by duplicating your on-premise servers and/or public clouds into a secure environment where replicas may be made available promptly in the case of a disaster.

Sun IT Solutions’s DRaaS will work with you to reduce the need to manage complicated, on-premise recovery infrastructure, freeing up internal IT resources to focus on accomplishing your business objectives. Our DRaaS team uses the Azure cloud to provide a completely comprehensive disaster recovery environment, ensuring that your organization is protected in the case of a disaster.