IT Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist

  • By: Rajesh Sachdeva
  • 12/08/2022
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We are living in the golden era of technology. The cloud has elevated the gauge for businesses. Today, the technology steers most of the aspects of our life. From positioning complicated workloads to maximising large-scale productivity, the cloud has made our daily operations nearly effortless.

With great power comes great responsibility and managing such complexity may encompass some possible risky disasters. It is crucial for the business to forecast a Disaster Recovery Plan. DR plan is basically a structured plan of action that helps in restoring your data and recover your entire infrastructure ensuring its safety in case of a disaster. A cloud DR plan offers organizations several benefits including saving time/capital, increased backup locations, higher reliability, and scalability. We have pondered the difficulty of carrying out a disaster recovery plan before its arrival but forecasting and managing its complexity is what drives the business to its secure future. To ensure data availability and data recovery, pertaining disaster recovery strategies have become vital and without them, organisations fail to protect themselves from massive loss of sensitive data.

Considering cloud disaster recovery for the first time and wondering where to start? Here’s an easy checklist for you that will help you plan an effective disaster recovery strategy:

Step 1: Assimilate your infrastructure and outline the threats

Your IT infrastructure is your gold mine. It contains all your assets, hardware, and your data which makes it extremely important to understand your infrastructure as a priority. It is critical to acknowledge and assess all the data that is being stored in your infrastructure and how much of it is of actual worth. Your data is of top tier priority and needs ultimate protection. To do so, consolidate and streamline the aspects that may make it easier for the backup and for the recovery of data in the future. Once you’ve got this aspect sorted, escalate towards evaluating the risks that might affect in the future or the ones that are more likely to. It may include natural disasters, power outages, cyber-attacks, and any other disruptive events. By outlining the threats, you would be subconsciously prepared for them which will give you an edge over the rest.

Step 2: Design a DR plan based on your RPO and RTO

The next step to move on to is to conduct a Business Impact Analysis which will help you understand the limitations of your business operations once a disaster strike. RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective) criteria is the soul of your disaster recovery plan. RPO represents the maximum amount of data that can be lost before causing inimical harm to the organization. It takes minutes and ensures your business’ credibility. RTO represents the amount of time an application can be down and still won’t result in any significant destruction of your business. It can take around one week to set up. Setting your goals for recovery point and recovery time objectives can prove to be crucial in an effective disaster recovery plan. After determining your RPO and RTO, escalate on designing a system that meets your DR goals accordingly.

Step 3: Choose the Right Cloud Service Provider

Since the evaluation and design of your approach is done, the next step for your infrastructure would be to choose a cloud service provider which will help you in the deployment. When your business is hit with a disaster and you don’t have remote backup for that, your primary data solution may be lost forever. The platinum standard for remote data backup is cloud-based solutions. It automatically downloads and copy data every few days (or even every few hours). All the prominent trusted cloud service provider has disaster recovery options as the trick under their sleeve. The cloud provider would assist you with scalability, usability, reliability, security and many more.  In addition, if the data stored in your system is physically damaged, such as by fire, flood, or physical tampering, the data stored in the backup can be used to cover your loss. This helps to minimize business disruptions.

Step 4: Place your Disaster Recovery Plan in order

A standard set of guidelines with specific instructions are strictly designed for everyone involved in the disaster recovery process. It is expected from each individual to be prepared for any disaster. A specific responsibility is assigned to everyone as per the DR plan. When a disaster occurs, everyone takes charge to the disaster accordingly. All the instructions are clearly stated in the plan, with the finest details considering all the possibilities in mind. The disaster may be unpredictable but considering all the unforeseen possibilities that may go south is what makes your plan a success for your business. It is crucial to follow the said steps to ensure the effectiveness of the DR plan. A detailed DR plan exceedingly helps in the streamlining the business and rendering it more profitable and resilient even before any occurrence of a disaster.

Step 5: Assess your DR plan constantly

Constructing a DR plan for your business is the primary task but knowing if the plan would work when required is the most crucial one. Once your DR plan is placed in order, the next step involves testing your DR plan and more often. It ensures that there is no chance of ambiguity, for which it is important to systematically test your DR plan. Your first test might not as per your expectations but as you move forward with the consistent tests, your DR plan gets further developed to enhance your infrastructure. Testing the plan periodically helps you find ways to improve your DR plan in the long run. It helps to make your business more resilient against disasters of all kinds.

No business be it small or large is completely secure of any mishappening. Every business requires a backup for the backup. ThoughtSol provides highly available, secure, and scalable infrastructure and services that enable you recover your cloud workloads quickly, reliably, and securely.

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