The Stages of Disaster Recovery Planning – The IT Element

The Stages of Disaster Recovery Planning – The IT Element

IT systems are one of your most vulnerable to outages in general. They can fail in many ways but they can also be mitigated against to provide different levels of redundancy. Below are some possible failures and mitigating options. This is not exhaustive by any means but shows what is possible.

Item Mitigation
Lose Broadband Second Connection – via different medium (i.e if you have efibre get a wireless link)
Router / Firewall Failure Have redundant Power Supply or ability to bypass router if need be (most basic modems will do the necessary ‘NAT’ translations while you source a new one)
Switch Failure Have twice the number of required switches with each at half capacity, this way the other cables can be transferred in an emergency
Power Failure UPS with enough juice to run for 60 minutes, or generator for the bigger sites (you’ll still need a UPS to plug the hole between power out and generator kick-in) PC’s similarly, a couple of our customers have mini UPS’s for the client PC’s so that if all else fails they can go to press on print day.
Computer Failure Have backups of all critical local data and a spare PC / Laptop for failover
Email Failure Have email caching in the cloud before it gets to your server with access externally via web browser in the interim.
Server Failure Have Server Mirroring or complete tape backups that can be restored to another machine if necessary. (Virtual servers are great for this as the hardware does not have to be the same)
Building Loss Have a DR Site that can be activated if the worst should happen or have servers hosted in cloud and have laptops stored at DR site for critical staff to use remotely in the event of DR.

Going back to your scenarios from before, feed these items in, see what is needed and put those items in place if budget is justified by your analysis. If it doesn’t maybe look at budgeting it for the following year.

Use the investment to drive business, you’ll find that bigger companies like to know that if ‘it’ hits the fan then you’ll be there still standing and providing whatever it is you provide. In some cases their SOX or similar requirements will mean that you are in the front of the queue for the business because you mitigate their controls and take some of the headache away.

Tomorrow the importance of Testing and how to do it properly.

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