Disaster recovery necessities

We usually think of things like hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes when someone mentions disasters. But the truth is that they can take many forms, especially when we’re talking in terms of software and technology. Then a disaster can be something as small as knocking a cup of coffee over a keyboard or as serious as a cyberattack or a pandemic.

When it comes to your IT infrastructure, the reality is that you need to be prepared for as many potential problems as possible. Especially when you consider that high-priority applications can cost you almost $70,000 per hour of downtime. But creating a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan can be complex and often requires an in-depth understanding of the technology you rely on than you’re accustomed to.

So here are a few tips to help make sure you have your disaster recovery necessities under control.

Invest in backup systems

The backbone of your BDR is obviously your backups. Without them, anything else you do is a moot point. So it is essential that you create backups of all the apps and systems you’re running on a regular basis. The ideal is for backups to be created as often as every 15 minutes so that you lose as little data as possible in the event of a disaster.

But because people are forgetful, you’ll need to automate your backups. This means you’ll need to choose the appropriate backup software to suit your needs. Some software has built-in autosave and backup features you can activate, but third-party software will be necessary to back up your whole network.

Your backups must be accessible and useable

There is no point in having a backup if you can’t access or use it in any way once it has been created. This means that if you’re using paid software to create your backups, you need to make sure your licenses are always up to date. Another important thing is redundancy. You need multiple backups stored in multiple places.

On-premise backups are great if there’s a sudden power outage or connection issues but no good if the building goes up in flames. Cloud-based backups offer the greatest mobility, especially if you have to move to another site off-premises for any reason. But if there are connection issues for any reason, they may not be as complete or up to date as you’d like.

Test your backups on a regular basis

The only way to be sure that your backups are working how they’re supposed to is to test them. Not once or twice right in the beginning but on a regular basis. There would be nothing worse than finding out your backup and disaster recovery systems aren’t working properly right when you need those backups because of a cyberattack or natural disaster occurring.

You should try to test backups as often as new ones are being created if you can manage it; otherwise, between once a day and once a week (depending on how much new data you create in a day) is fine.

Give your systems shutdown cushions

Systems suddenly shutting down in the middle of a backup can corrupt the data so badly that all of it becomes unusable. So first, you need to make sure that you’re keeping more than just the most recent backups because sometimes a sudden shutdown is unavoidable. Secondly, you should invest in things like UPS units and other short-term emergency power systems.

The purpose of these devices is not to keep your system running for days or hours in the event of a shutdown but only to give you enough time to save and exit open applications before safely shutting down whatever device you happen to be using. In some cases, 15 minutes of power will be enough. In others, you’ll need as much as an hour. Entech is here to help, reach out today.