Prepare yourself before disaster strikes. When it comes to data backup and disaster recovery (BDR), being prepared for potential disasters is key to keep your business running. It’s not only important to have a disaster recovery solution you trust, but to make sure you test it as well.
Keep this DR checklist on hand
Prior to a disaster ever occurring (and unfortunately it’s a matter of when and not if) ask yourself the following:
• Do you have a disaster recovery solution in place?
• Do you trust it?
• When was the last time your backup was tested?
• How long does it take to recover from your current backup solution?
• How long can you realistically be down? 1 hour? 1 day?
• What is the financial cost of downtime to your business?
• When a disaster occurs, is there an offsite copy?
The disaster moment has occurred—time to walk through the following steps:
1. Assess the problem and its impact on your business Every disaster is different. Before doing anything, understand the underlying issue and how it may affect you.
• Is the issue local to one machine, or does it affect your entire system?
• Have files been deleted or are servers/workstations down?
2. Establish recovery goals Recovery is what makes a BDR solution different from a simple backup product. Plan out your road to recovery.
• Restore the system, the data, or both? Should time be spent recovering files and folders before system recovery?
• Identify critical systems and prioritize recovery tasks.
• What date/time should you recover from?
• How long can your recovery take?
3. Select the appropriate recovery type(s) To get to your “road to recovery”, the appropriate recovery procedure must be followed. Think about which approach will best get you to your end goal.
• File restore. OR
• Local virtualization. OR
• Off-site virtualization.
4. Verify the recovery and confirm functionality with users Once a recovery is verified, confirm that it interacts positively with users.
• Test network connectivity.
• Ensure all users can access resources and applications in the virtual environment.
5. Restore the original system(s), if needed If the original system(s) needs to be restored, decide which restoration process will work best.
• Bare metal restore. OR
• Virtual machine restore.
6. Self-assess afterwards After it’s all said and done, take a step back and think about it: How well did your team do? What could you have done differently?
• What precipitated the failure?
• What ongoing issues need to addressed?
• What can be done better in future DR scenarios?