Disaster recovery is only effective if it works. This may seem like stating the obvious, but how easy is it to have your systems in place and then more or less forget about them? If you’re fortunate enough not to have had to make use of disaster recovery, if you’ve perhaps only had to recover the odd file, then you may not be aware of your system’s actual effectiveness.
No business wants to operate without a safety net. Permanent loss of data, either through damage or cybercrime, is probably going to be catastrophic in business terms. You could face financial ruin, legal liability and a ruined reputation that will be very difficult to repair.
So how confident are you in your backup and disaster recovery? Backup and recovery testing should be built in to your disaster recovery strategy and should be carried out regularly. Larger companies tend to do this annually and in terms of best practice this makes sense.
Your IT needs to be able to function when it comes to unforeseen circumstances. Assuming things will tick along nicely is not going to be nearly enough: you should have an alert system for failures and a proper system for checking backups, including logging when they occur and monitoring their effectiveness.
You should also be thinking in terms of what you’ll lose if your backup goes wrong. How often are you backing up and in terms of location, where are you backing up to? If your database is critical it may make sense to keep backups in more than one place.
Another key factor is your recovery time objective. Basically, how long will it take to access your backup files and restore them? Managing disaster recovery requires an understanding of how manageable any disruption will be and how much time it will take that may eat into your day-to-day business.
Also, any upgrades to hardware, firmware or software should mean you automatically test your backup to ensure it’s up to speed with any changes.
San-iT provides a range of IIT services in Manchester and across the North West. We believe in pro-active system monitoring and ensuring that businesses have the best possible IT support and backup at all times.