A good IT disaster recovery plan for a Los Angeles distributor can make the difference between going out of business or bouncing back.
What does the word “disaster” mean to you – earthquakes, infernos, hurricanes and terrorist attacks? While these events are indeed disasters, a hard disk crash can be just as deadly to a business.
There are no dramatic effects unless you count the high pitched whining noise or a death rattle of clicks as your hard drive expires, taking your critical data with it.
Is your Los Angeles distribution company ready for recovery? Assess your enterprise and your thinking for each of the questions below to evaluate how near or how far you could be from salvation if a catastrophe were to strike.
Do You Understand Your Risks?
Distributors that think disaster will never hit them are living in a dream world. The question is not “if”, but “when”. Natural disasters, IT equipment failures, and hackers are all conspiring to stop your business in its tracks. Earthquakes can make access to premises impossible, as well as playing havoc with your IT systems.
How Much Can You Afford to Lose?
Disaster recovery offers two simple and useful metrics to help put numbers on this. The first is the recovery time objective or RTO. This is the maximum amount of time you can afford to be without your IT resources.
The second is the recovery point objective or RPO. This is the most amount of data you can afford to lose since your last data backup. Like your RTO, your RPO depends on your business. Putting a number on each will guide you through the next steps.
How Often Do You Back Up Your Data?
Data needs to be backed up often enough to satisfy your recovery point objective mentioned above. For instance, if you estimate your RPO is 4 hours, you’ll be doing a backup six times a day. The higher the frequency, the more you may need advanced backup technology to reliably speed up the process and avoid impact on business operations.
How Safe Are Your Data Backups?
Data backups themselves need to be kept safe too. Backups to other media on your site leave you vulnerable to any disaster that could damage your facilities or shut down your access. Tape backups that are physically transported to a remote place for safekeeping are one solution. Backing up your data to cloud storage is another.
How Fast Can You Recover Your Data from a Backup?
While tape backups can better safeguard your data, it may take more time to recover your data from them than your RTO (recovery time objective) permits. Even a cloud-based backup solution needs a sufficiently fast network connection unless you opt for a recovery solution within the cloud itself (called DRaaS, or Disaster Recovery as a Service.)
How Often Do You Realistically Test Your Recovery Procedures?
None of the above can be expected to work unless you adequately test it. For example, you need to make sure that your backup data on its own allows your business to restart on a new server with all the user information, applications, configurations and profiles necessary. Regular, frequent, full recovery testing is mandatory if you want to be sure you are actually prepared.
What steps has your Los Angeles distribution company taken to prepare for disaster recovery? Tell us about it in the space below for Comments.
To follow up on the tips in this article, download your free guide, How COOs at Los Angeles Distributors and Manufacturers Get More Done: A Guide to Productivity, Data, Staffing, Delegation, and Making It Home for Dinner Most Nights.