5 Factors To Keep in Mind When Setting Up a Disaster Recovery System5 Factors To Keep in Mind When Setting Up a Disaster Recovery System
When you hear the word "disaster," you probably picture a major flood, fire, blizzard or the like. Any one of these events would certainly be bad news for businesses, but, for customers of MSPs, disasters are not all-or-nothing propositions. Instead, they encompass a whole range of large and small incidents that can result in data and service losses.
January 14, 2015
By Zetta.net Guest Blog 2
When you hear the word “disaster,” you probably picture a major flood, fire, blizzard or the like. Any one of these events would certainly be bad news for businesses, but, for customers of MSPs, disasters are not all-or-nothing propositions.Instead, they encompass a whole range of large and small incidents that can result in data and service losses. A properly designed disaster recovery system will protect against:
Power surges, brownouts or outages
Lost smartphones, laptops and tablets
Fires and fire protection system damage
And whatever floods, earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, lightning strikes, hurricanes or blizzards our dear, sweet Mother Nature decides to give us
Here are five critical factors MSPs should keep in mind when setting up their own and their customers’ systems for easy data recovery after a disaster.
1. Think prevention as a post-disaster recovery strategy
The first step is to keep a disaster from occurring in the first place, since many disasters are preventable. Review all systems and procedures on a regular basis to make sure they are in compliance with industry best practices. For example, it is recommended that you keep all application and security patches up to date to thwart hacking and malware losses. Limiting the chance and amount of data loss makes for simpler and faster recoveries.
2. Map all data sources and dependencies
Maintain an up-to-date description of all data sources, the hardware, the network connections, how they interact, and where and how often they are backed up. Make sure that this description is stored not just on the servers that you will be trying to restore.
3. Set up automated offsite data backup for every type of endpoint
Even if mission-critical servers are protected, the business won’t recover until employees are able to access their data. It is therefore important to include the endpoints–whatever they are — as part of the offsite backup strategy. We are not just talking about protecting the office workstations — in this BYOD/work-from-home era, important data may also be stored on employee-owned devices. You don’t have to back up their music or selfies, but with 128 GB of storage, employees can fit a lot of company data on their iPhone or iPad.
4. Set up remote management
When there is a disaster, personnel and data may not be in the same physical location. A flood or snow storm can prevent administrators from reaching the primary data center, or the data may be in a disaster recovery facility on the other side of the country. Remote administration is critical in both cases, as is limiting the need to drive into work in the middle of the night to respond to an alarm.
5. Routinely test the DR plan
No matter how comprehensive the plan was at one point in time, if personnel have changed, if software has been updated, if equipment has moved to a different rack, the plan may no longer work. The middle of a disaster is not the time to go debugging systems or revising protocols.
Visit us to learn how a backup and restore planning guide can cover clients from everyday mishaps to extreme disasters.
Art Ledbetter is director of channels at Zetta. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly, and are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsorship.
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