The Silver Lining In Your Cloud TM

A Disaster Recovery Checklist for Your Business

Disaster recovery (DR) is a critical service for ensuring business continuity in the face of a network outage, power outage, or other disastrous event that causes the loss of mission-critical business data.

Is your business’ disaster recovery solution up to the task of minimizing disruption when something happens? The more disruptive a “disaster” is to your business, the more money will be lost to things such as reduced productivity and inability to process critical business transactions.

To ensure that your DR solution will be effective when you need it, check to see if it meets the following guidelines:

  • Geodiversity. The replication, or “backup,” environment shouldn’t be located in the same state as your primary production environment, let alone the same data center. Geodiversity helps ensure that a brownout/blackout, network outage, or natural disaster in one location won’t take out your backups too.
  • Fast Recovery Time Objective (RTO). How long does it take for your disaster recovery solution to restore normal operation? The faster your systems are back online, the less disruption there will be to your services. An ideal RTO would be less than a couple of hours.
  • Recent Recovery Point Objective (RPO). How much data would you lose if your system went down right now and had to be restored from a backup of your files? The more frequently your data is backed up, the less disruption there will be to operations once they resume. Ideally, you want to lose no more than a few minutes of data.
  • No Single Points of Failure. A single point of failure is any part of a system that, if disrupted, would cause the whole thing to not work. A DR solution with a single point of failure simply isn’t up to the task.
  • Minimal Performance Impact. Replication of data should have a near-zero impact on the performance of the primary production environment. If replication adds too much load, then it can affect the stability of your production environment—causing the very disaster you’re trying to prevent!
  • Security for Replication Environments. The goal of a DR solution is to make sure you can access your data when your business needs it—not to create a new entry point for hackers. Replication environments and data storage should be protected just as strongly as the production environment—if not more strongly protected.
  • Compatibility. Are the hypervisors for your virtualization software compatible with the ones used on the replication server? Making sure that your DR solution is hardware-agnostic so that your virtual machines (VMs) can be freely moved to any other VM being run on a compatible hypervisor increases flexibility and helps prevent vendor lock-in.
  • Failover Testing. Your DR solution should be tested on a regular basis to verify that it works, as well as establish practical, real-world values for the solution’s RTO and RPO.
  • Penetration Testing. Your replication environment should undergo the same penetration testing that your primary production environment does. This helps to verify the effectiveness of the security for your replication environment.

Does your DR solution meet all of the above checklist items? Half? Any?

If your DR solution is lacking one or more of the critical checklist items listed above, it might be time to get a new solution.

Find out how you can get a reliable DR plan in place with a minimum of effort today!