The cloud has made disaster recovery for SMEs easier than ever. However, having a suitable plan in place means more than just backing up daily to the cloud. You need to make yourself aware of the full range of disaster recovery options available so that your business is prepared for disruptive events such as extreme weather, fire or data loss.
Here are seven steps to help you determine your data recovery (DR) plan:
Good housekeeping – while not every disaster can be planned for, you can take steps to minimise the likelihood or impact of a disruptive event. For example, through proactive monitoring of your systems, regular verified data backups, checking your security measures such as firewall and controlled physical access and so on.
- Prioritise – in the event of a disaster you need to know which applications, services and data are the most important ones to get back up as quickly as possible. Although this can feel like a daunting task, think about what would happen if you lost all this data, what would be the cost and inconvenience to your business? Much like house and contents insurance you might begrudge paying it, but when you need to make a claim you are very glad you did!
- Control costs – having your DR site in the cloud reduces the need for data centre space, IT infrastructure and IT resources leading to significant cost savings. Leaving out irrelevant applications and data is also key to keeping costs down.
- Strategy – the best strategy and methods will vary for each company, but one element is common to all. The backup must be housed at a physically separate facility, perhaps even outside of the region, depending upon potential compliance requirements.
- Outsource - consider putting your disaster recovery instances into the cloud and having it handled by a managed service provider like Memset Managed Hosting. This will enable you to reap all the benefits of cloud computing, from usage-based cost to eliminating on-premises infrastructure.
- SLAs – if you do choose to outsource, it is vital to check the vendor’s service-level agreement. You need to be absolutely certain that they are able to deliver uninterrupted service within the defined SLAs for DR instances.
- Testing - arguably the most important part of any disaster recovery plan. Will your plan stand up if disaster strikes?!