Partners Play a Vital Role in Disaster Recovery
Sometimes we are given a sober reminder of our need to be prepared for disaster, as we were recently when multiple severe storms hit the northeastern United States. Our hearts go out to all those affected. As we go through the recovery process, our first thoughts always focus on personal preparation to ensure our safety and that of our loved ones. Next we focus on how our livelihood depends on the ability of businesses to keep themselves up and running.
A full-scale disaster recovery (DR) plan entails far more planning than I can mention here, but the partner community is in a unique position to add value to businesses as they work to keep their information and systems safe in the event of disaster.
Aside from ensuring the safety of its people, protecting critical information should be the highest priority of any organization. A major focus of Symantec’s business is helping organizations with their DR and business continuity efforts. And because companies trust channel partners to help them make the smartest technology decisions, they are best-suited to help make sure organizations have the solutions in place that will allow them to conduct ‘business as usual’ — even in a natural disaster. As partners work with customers and emphasize the need to plan for the worst, we recommend sharing the following tips as part of their evaluation of DR capabilities:
- Businesses should learn from the past. Obviously, we recommend organizations create a DR plan before something goes wrong, but after an outage or disaster, they should document what worked well in their plan and what did not. Processes should be refined. And if they don’t have a plan, they need to carefully consider what it would take to maintain their critical business functions in the event of disaster, in addition to the physical safety of their people and facility.
- Make sure customers understand how beneficial it is to work with a trusted partner to help with disaster recovery specifics – for example, where to safeguard backups, or determining optimal locations for application failover.
- Discuss the various benefits that DR software can generate, including eliminating the need for manual intervention.
- Discourage customers from cutting corners – it’s critical to implement the right level of DR software to protect the organization in the event of an outage.
- Customers should conduct regular testing of their DR plan. Once a year isn’t good enough; they should be testing every quarter (at the very least). It may need to be more often, depending on how frequently they experience significant changes in the data center. It’s also important to train employees on the plan and ensure that they know their roles as part of the plan.
- Organizations should automate to minimize downtime – prioritize planning and tools that automate processes to ensure faster recovery.
- When possible, as in the case of an impending storm or other disaster, organizations should prepare in advance and move data and critical systems from affected regions before the disaster strikes.
With so many details to work out, Symantec is here to simplify the task of handling the technical side of things so organizations can focus on protecting their people. We provide partners with a comprehensive suite of products to keep information safe, with a variety of solutions such as the Veritas Cluster Server, NetBackup and Backup Exec 2012 that can manage and protect the information stored in both physical and virtual environments.
Partners can take advantage of these solutions as they find the best way to provide value for their customers, and make a real difference in maintaining business continuity in the face of disaster.