Whether someone deletes a critical file or trips over a cable, or worse yet, a hurricane tears through your customer’s town, how many of your customers possess a disaster recovery (DR) plan? According to Nationwide, two in three small businesses lack a written recovery plan. And, like most professionals, they’re aware of the consequences, but don’t think it could happen to them. The lack of a DR plan could lead to irreparable damage or going out of business. This cheat sheet will help you create a data center DR plan to ensure business continuity.
Three DR factors
Large or small, a DR plan is designed to take three factors into consideration:
- Business continuance: A DR plan outlines how a business will continue operating in the event of an interruption, be it a hardware failure or cable ripped from an outlet.
- True disasters: Whether manmade (power outage) or natural disaster (hurricane), a DR plan considers how a business will protect the technology so it can quickly recover from the disaster. This includes data replication to ensure that there’s more than one copy of strategic data in different locations.
- The human element: According to Ingram Micro technology consultant, Nick Vermiglio, the human factor is often overlooked or not considered, yet plays a big role in the DR plan.
The DR cheat sheet
Follow these steps to create your own DR plan.
- Data replication: Ensure that your customers can access the latest copies of their data following the 3-2-1 data replication standard: Three copies of the data, two different storage types and one copy located remotely from the source.
- Recovery time: Determine how much downtime your customers can accept. One business may find that only two to three minutes are acceptable, while others can tolerate a day. Two factors that influence downtime tolerance include recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO).
- Documentation: To keep your customers’ businesses operational, your documented processes and procedures should plan for the worst. Think loss of property or life. Vermiglio says documentation is the most overlooked part of any DR plan. He recommends your documented processes and procedures should leave nothing to the imagination. For example, start with the premise that the people reading the documentation know nothing about the customer’s data center so that they can follow the right steps to bring up a server in a virtualized environment. Vermiglio also recommends including a central contact number in the event of a catastrophic disaster, and that contact should have a copy of the DR plan so they can deploy resources as needed.
Read more about disaster recovery in the Ingram Micro Advisor data center blog: