Business Continuity and the Backup Budget

Backing up your critical data is a key first step in planning for disaster recovery, but this is only a small part of having a Business Continuity Plan/Disaster Recovery plan.  Understanding exactly what happens in the event of a disaster and the restoration and recovery process from an IT perspective is a key aspect of managing your companies’ Business Continuity Plan.

In the event of a true disaster your first priority is your people. After your people have been taken care of, how quickly you want to be able to recover determines in large part the costs of implementing and maintaining your backup solution.

What kinds of questions do you need to be asking to have an effective backup and recovery plan in place?

  • Who declares a disaster and what constitutes a disaster?
  • What are some IT incidents and what is the appropriate response?
  • How much down time can we tolerate with our primary systems (i.e. line-of-business software)?
  • How much down time can we tolerate with our secondary systems (e.g. email)?
  • What happens when the server(s) have a hardware failure?
  • What happens when there is a failure at the network or router level?
  • What happens when your internet provider is down?
  • What happens after a security incident (virus, intrusion, etc)?

Effective IT management is a critical component of nearly every business out there today. The first step of effective IT management in a disaster type scenario is really thinking about understanding the different types of things that can happen.

The costs and complexity associated with a recovery time of a few hours is orders of magnitude more complex than a plan with a recovery time of a few days. “High Availability,” as it is sometimes called when the recovery times are shorter, often requires redundant hardware, real-time offsite backups, log shipping and all sorts of esoteric and expensive technologies.

As a responsible manager in your firm, it is up to you to sit down with IT professionals and evaluate common failure and disaster scenarios and be prepared. What you don’t know could end up costing your business a lot.

Did you know…?

  • …that restoring an entire server typically takes 10+ hours?
  • …that restoring an entire server from an external hard drive take 5+ hours?
  • …that virtualization tech can be used as low cost option that has a faster recovery time?
  • …that Microsoft is offering cloud-based virtualization services?

While this may seem overwhelming at first, these challenges must be faced head-on, and before a disaster occurs.  We can help you assess your business infrastructure and develop contingency plans for the various potential disasters your particular business may face.  Get started now by downloading an disaster recovery checklist template:

Free Download -- Disaster Recovery Checklist

Remember, a Disaster Recovery Plan is like a parachute.  You don't need one until you do... then you really, really need one.