Every data center is bound to deal with some form of natural or man-made disaster at some point. That’s why it’s important for every business to have a disaster recovery plan. Here are specific metrics businesses should to track to ensure they have a sound plan, along with considerations to maximize data protection.
Metrics to Analyze
The most important metrics for evaluating a disaster recovery plan are Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). These metrics are important for limiting downtime and accelerating problem-solving. While RTO measures how long a business can tolerate being offline, RPO reflects how much data loss the company can tolerate while in recovery mode. The combination of RTO, RPO, and budget should shape any company’s recovery plan.
Recovery Objective and Options
The primary focus of a disaster recovery plan should be making a smooth transition back to normal business continuity while protecting data. Ideally, the business does not need to rebuild infrastructure, and can shift to accessing copies of data with minimal disruption.
Recovery options include cold and warm sites. A cold site may require tape backups or could just be a cool room with network access. This type of plan leads to a slow recovery spread out over several days or weeks, since tapes must be rewound and it takes time to transfer data from one medium to another. It’s still a viable option for companies trying to save money.
A warm site is an infrastructure that’s ready to pick up where the system left off before the disaster. It contains all the main components to resume data center operations. One option includes using dedicated spaces to house backup servers. Electronic vaulting, which involves automatic backups, has replaced tape backups in recent years due to greater efficiency. Warm sites cost more, but are the more reliable solution for resuming normal business activity as quickly as possible.
Cloud Recovery Plan
The cloud is a haven for ideas that have revolutionized the internet, including “as a service” providers. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is an option for companies looking for a turn-key solution that continuously backs up data. Cloud-based providers reduce data loss concerns since they provide constant availability of data due to the amount of redundancy from backing up data in multiple places.
Regardless of where the disaster occurs, there’s a strong chance that it will not impact all servers. Cloud providers are the best bet for achieving almost zero downtime. Cloud recovery is also an effective solution for scalability without investing in new technology. It allows data to be moved quickly from one place to another without interrupting business continuity.
A recovery plan can be segmented into different priorities. Business-critical data can be prioritized to be more readily available, while archived data can be stored in more affordable media storage spaces that may take time to access.
Preparing for disaster recovery should be a solid part of every business. Backing up data regularly in different, easily accessible places helps limit downtime. By relying on modern solutions such as the cloud, downtime will likely last only minutes.