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How to Avoid Downtime with a Proper Disaster Recovery Plan

Is Your Data Protected from Disaster?

Find out the differences between data backup and disaster recovery options, as well as a few tips to help ensure your data is ready for any type of downtime event.

By Connectria Hosting

The Basics: Backup as a Service

Simply put, backup as a service is the regularly scheduled process of copying your data/files to removable media. This can be through a tape backup, a secondary computer or a cloud-hosted backup solution. It is important to have a backup solution in place as it protects your data in case of theft or lost company property (e.g., leaving a laptop behind in a cab), employee accidents (e.g., deletion of files) or technical issues (e.g., hardware failure). With backups, companies can access copies of their data/files and restore them easily should any of the above incidents arise.

Related: Prepare a Disaster Recovery Plan for your Business

The Basics: Disaster Recovery as a Service

An easy way to look at a disaster recovery (DR) solution is that it is similar to a backup service, but not only is the data copied off site, the compute requirements (hardware, operating systems, subsystems, applications, etc.) are duplicated in a manner that will allow them to be used in the event of a disaster as well. For example: A declared "disaster" can be your entire network crashing, bringing down your customer-facing website. With a disaster recovery plan, your website, applications and databases can be switched over with minimal interruption. Your IT department can address the issue while your business is able to operate as usual.

Related: Think of Scheduled Downtime as Disaster Recovery on Your Terms

The Plan: Define Recovery Targets

Work with your provider to define application recovery targets of zero or greater. Then, work closely with them to customize the appropriate environment to meet those requirements. This may range from dedicated servers in a high-availability environment, with automatic failover to a number of other replication methods including software, SAN, and data switch with defined recovery targets and objectives (e.g., hot stand-by, warm stand-by).

The Plan: Identify Data Migration and Replication Requirements

Look at and understand your data migration needs and options. Work with your provider to determine the best near real-time replication solution, such as a database replication system that takes logs from a relational database and replicates them from your production system(s).

Related: Is Enterprise Disaster Recovery Broken

The Plan: Ensure Network Integration

Make sure you have a network infrastructure that can integrate your IT environment into your provider's reliable and secure data center quickly and cost-effectively.

Understand and Demand Support Services

Ask questions. Ensure your provider can deliver 24/7 system monitoring, daily backup, recovery services and operational monitoring of your servers. Do they provide: monitoring of communication links, enterprise backup facility, secure data center facilities and managed firewall services?