What is a Disaster Recovery? How Does it Work?
A disaster recovery plan, also known as DR, is a system of documents made by an organization to deal with emergency situations. Information in this document explains how to deal with natural disasters, including power outages, incorrect usage of the internet, and similar instances. In this document, you’ll find a detailed plan for minimizing the impact of a disaster so that your company can still continue operating as usual. At the very least, so that your company can resume work after a disaster.
Disaster recovery is not a new term and it has been on the market since the 1970s, but in the new era of technology, disaster recovery has changed tremendously. Before it was only floods, earthquakes, or thunderstorms that we used to call a disaster. Moreover, cyberattacks are also now regarded as disasters that need to be handled by organizations if they occur on a bad day. Viruses and other cyber-attacks can severely damage your business, and if you can’t overcome the problem, it will cost you a lot. That’s why disaster recovery plans are so important for your business. Today, we’ll discuss disaster recovery–how it works, what it covers, and more.
More about Disaster Recovery
Disaster recovery means resuming the normal operations of your company right after a disaster hits you and prevents you from continuing your day-to-day services. After a disaster, the company has to regain access to data, hardware, software, power, connectivity, networking equipment, and more.
If a disaster causes profound damage to your business, then many things will need to be considered in order for you to provide your regular service to customers again. You may have to find a new work location, restore communication with customers or third parties, transport employees, and more. You cannot do any of it if you don’t have a clear-cut plan beforehand. It’s for this reason that disaster recovery documents include a number of rules and procedures that will help you overcome the situation as quickly as possible. An effective disaster plan will decrease your stress level after a disaster. There is not just one employee of the organization responsible for creating the disaster plan. In reality, it is a set of ideas that have been collected from different people within the organization to help you cope with different situations. And that being said, there should be a dedicated team working specially for disaster recovery purposes.
How do you create a Disaster Recovery Team?
You need the right and dedicated team of experts who will help you create the right strategy for planning disaster recovery. Creating the right team is the first step of your disaster recovery plan. You need to find the right IT specialists and other people who will provide your organization with the proper advantages in the below areas when a disaster takes place:
The leaders of the team will propose a suitable recovery plan for getting out of the disaster. The leaders will make efforts to manage the crisis and will resolve the problem without any delay.
Continuation of Business
The business impact analysis will demonstrate how much the disaster has impacted the business. And the team will guarantee that the recovery plan meets the needs of the organization and has what it takes to continue with the business.
The recovery team needs to have the IT expertise to recover the damaged components of the company which may include servers, storage, networks, and their databases.
The experts in this area will make sure which application activities are going to be implemented for the disaster recovery plan. IT Applications tasks may consist of the integration of the applications, configurations and settings of the applications, and the data consistency.
But apart from the IT sector recovery plan, there can be two other parts of the recovery team that might be helpful for certain needs.
Managing the Executives
The recovery plan for disaster needs a certain budget, strategies, and policies. And the executive’s team will make sure of that. The executives should also provide the organization with solutions in case another crisis appears.
Important Business Unit
There should be an important business unit where the leaders from all the disaster recovery units will gather together and share feedback on how things are processing. They will pinpoint the general concerns for the recovery plan so that there is space for improvement.
In addition to a team for disaster recovery, your organization should consider the important elements for the disaster recovery plan.
5 Top Essentials for an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan
Here are the elements you need for your team that will help you create the proper disaster recovery plan.
Recovery Team for Disaster
We already discussed that to implement a proper recovery plan, you will have to assign a group of people certain tasks for disaster recovery. There will be people for implementing and managing the important aspects of the plan. Each member of the team should have specific responsibilities and they should be able to communicate with each other as well as the vendors and customers.
You need to figure out the potential crisis that can impact negatively on the growth of your organization. And on the basis of the event, you need to access resources and strategies that can put your company out of risk. For instance, if your organization goes through a cyber-attack, you need to determine more security measures that will help you out of the misery.
Identify the Important Assets of Your Business
The disaster recovery plan should contain the applications, services, data, and other resources that are important to your company. Additionally, it should provide information on how to get back those important assets in the event of an unfortunate event.
You need to make sure what database of your company’s network needs a backup and who will take care of that backup. You need to determine how you can implement those backups. Also, ensure how many times you will back up those data and what will be the frequency of the backups. The backup process is also an important aspect of the disaster recovery plan.
Testing and Optimization
After creating a disaster recovery plan, your work does not end here. You will have to continuously create new strategies for new types of disasters and implement them during or after the events. You need to ensure your company is ready to face any kind of disaster situation. You need to update and upgrade your security continuously to make sure that your company is not vulnerable to cyber-attacks. You also need to implement security measures to protect yourself from potential security risks.
While these elements are essentials in a disaster recovery strategy, there are many types of disaster recovery that you need to follow. Some companies follow all of them and some just stick to a few.
How many types of Disaster Recovery are There?
Enterprises can choose from various disaster recovery methods such as the following ones:
You can overcome a disaster by backing up your company’s data on physical storage, such as a removable hard drive. However, backing up data alone won’t help.
A cold site is a second place where employees work after a disaster takes place. This place does not operate at other times when the situation is under control. It is, however, a backup location that can help you continue to run your business. However, it does not help you back up or protect your data.
A hot site provides updated copies of the data and it covers all the old and latest data as well. In comparison to cold sites, hot sites are more expensive to set up and require more time. However, hot sites reduce the downtime of data transfers significantly.
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
You can move your computer processes to a DRaaS provider so that your company can provide its services as before from the vendor’s location. Additionally, the company’s services will remain available even if its servers aren’t working properly. There are pay-per-use plans and subscription-based plans for DRaaS. The latency will, however, be reduced once the DRaaS servers are transferred onto your company’s premises. However, DRaaS can also be affected by the same natural disaster as the location.
Back-Up as a Service
Back-up as a service refers to backing the organization’s data with the help of a professional. But it does not include backing up the infrastructure such as the server.
Datacenter Disaster Recovery
Datacenter elements can be applied to protect the data and help to get more effective data recovery. But it may be helpful in certain kinds of disasters. For instance, if there is a fire in the company, a fire suppression tool can help you avoid damage to your computing equipment. During the power outage, a backup power source tool can help you continue your company’s operations.
Virtualization as a disaster recovery plan can help your organization to automate the disaster recovery processes so that you can bring out the operations faster after the disaster occurs. Virtualization requires a frequent and proper backup of data and workloads as well as an understanding between the IT professionals. Virtualization includes backing up data as well as operations of the entire organization’s infrastructure that has been affected by the disaster.
Point-in-time copies take a snapshot of the total database of the company at a specific time. This is also a type of backup and you can restore the data if the copies are uploaded or stored on a virtual system that didn’t get affected by the disaster.
It is similar to point-in-time copies but it won’t copy the database and will only take a snapshot of the total virtual machine.
All these processes fall under the data recovery types and your organization can apply one or multiple to come out of the misfortune situation. There are multiple reasons why planning disaster recovery is important for your organization.
Why is Disaster Recovery Important?
A disaster can damage your business outcomes and future plans in just a few seconds. But a recovery plan can help you get out of it just as fast. Even though organizations implement multi-cloud strategies to manage the potential risks of cyber attacks and to manage tools, it is never enough when it comes to a disaster. Complex events such as power outages, system breakdowns, cyber-attacks, supplier failure can put your organization in danger. But if you create a resilience plan to achieve recovery after a disaster, it can get better with a little cost and time. Here are the key reasons why having a superior disaster recovery plan is not an option:
- Helps you continue business interactions within a little time
- Limits extensive damage or destruction
- Will reduce the financial impact of the destruction
- It will help you establish an alternative for operations in advance
- To provide seamless services even after the destruction
- To train experts with emergency processes.
Any disruption in your IT infrastructure can cost your business a lot of revenue. Moreover, if you want to maintain your customers’ satisfaction, you’ll need to provide them with quality products and services, which will be impossible after a disaster if you don’t have a backup plan. A well-defined disaster recovery treatment will not only help you boost your organizational confidence but also immediate improvement. In the event of IT failures, cyber-attacks, etc., your company’s credibility, market position, and volatility can be negatively affected. And it can also cost you a lot if it is a natural disaster. Therefore, implementing the best plan for getting out of it will be your only way of dealing with a disaster.