5 Tips for a Powerful Data Disaster Plan

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  The massive amount of data enterprises deal with today has resulted in them facing many difficult challenges. Among these challenges are not only various types of data disasters themselves, but the difficulties associated with developing a strong plan to deal with and recover from such disasters.    The following tips help enterprises develop data protection plans that enable enterprises to quickly and affordably recover the data they need if there is a data disaster.  

Fail to plan = plan to fail

How organizations react after a data disaster should be clearly articulated in the plan. Enterprises who fail to plan for data disasters will have more elongated, data crisis. By defining clear data recovery service levels that meet the enterprise’s business needs you streamline the recovery process while avoiding “overbuilding” and spending too much on unnecessary data protection and recovery solutions.

Plan for different types of data disasters

Though enterprises know the damage that data disasters can cause, they often don’t consider all the different types of data disasters that could impact their business. Human error and natural disasters can damage an enterprise’s data just as much as hardware failures, software issues or ransomware. In order for businesses to be fully ready to recover from various data disasters, enterprises must develop a plan for all realistic potential data disasters.

The first step in this process is determining how much impact various data disasters would have on the enterprise. Once this is determined, enterprises need to evaluate what type of recovery times they need for each disaster. By knowing what the needed recovery times are you can both ensure the plan is designed to meet this times and keep everyone in the enterprise calm and on schedule if a disaster dodes occur.

Prepare to handle disasters on all infrastructures – including the cloud

More and more companies are computing in cloud environments such as AWS or Azure. With this increase, companies need to prepare to handle data disasters that impact not just their on-premise infrastructure, but their cloud infrastructure as well. If an emergency does arise, it’s important employees and enterprises can recover the data they need in the time they need, on whatever infrastructure it resides. Additionally, going hand in hand with the typical benefits to the cloud, some companies are finding that the cloud also proves as an agile, elastic and affordable option for disaster recovery.

Define the service level agreement

Both the IT department and the businesses might think they understand the disaster recovery plan’s servicelevel agreements more than they do, and often what one side thinks is in the plan might not actually be in it. Don’t be afraid to have (sometimes awkward) conversations internally to define the service-level agreements and what both sides should expect if a disaster does occur. Often, IT has the resources and ability to deliver, but what the business side expects and thinks it needs is not aligned.

This means that both sides need to collaborate and create a plan that both feel comfortable in signing off on. It is essential for the success of an enterprise during a disaster recovery that both sides be aligned, so employees and businesses operate with minimal stress when a disaster actually occurs.

Update your data disaster plans

This is often overlooked, but is an essential step in avoiding data disasters. It’s not uncommon for organizations to use technology (and data backup and recovery assumptions) that are five, 10 or even 15 years old. With constant change in technology and digital business needs, it’s essential for organizations to test and update their data disaster plans quarterly (or even more often).

With data, application, technology and business needs constantly changing, a disaster plan that was working three months ago could be obsolete now. Not only could the plan not be protecting the data it needs to, but new technologies could be available that could better protect the data, reduce the risk of a data disaster, or accelerate the data recovery time.

[via:CSO from IDG]

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