There are few things more important to a company’s IT needs than a comprehensive – and fool proof –Disaster Recovery plan. It’s something that probably barely registers as a necessity when a company is getting up and running, and when everything is operating smoothly it probably gets pushed to the furthest recesses of the proverbial back burner. But when it’s needed it can literally mean life or death for a company.

Without a comprehensive Disaster Recovery plan, a power outage that fries a server or a fire that wipes out all of the computers (not to mention all of the hard-copy documents!) will bring business to a standstill for days or weeks. It could also mean that once everything is back up and running the company may be starting back at square one. If there were salvageable hard-copy documents they may be outdated – and will still need to be manually input back into the electronic systems. And computer data that was salvageable may be incomplete, corrupt, or out of date.

The fact of the matter is that 80% of businesses that suffer data-loss caused by “a major incident” (fire, flood, etc.) “either never re-open or close within 18 months.” That is a terrifying statistic!

So – what constitutes a comprehensive Disaster Recovery plan?

According to Ready.gov, there are five critical parts to any Disaster Recovery plan:

– Computer room environment (climate control, etc.)
– Hardware (computers, servers, networks cables, etc.)
– Connectivity to a service provider (fiber, cable, wireless, etc.)
– Software applications
– Data and restoration

Once your company has inventoried the five components, a plan should be implemented (and tested) to ensure that data is being backed up consistently so that if there is an incident there is a recent version of data available for your company to continue operations. These backups should also, ideally, be stored off-site. After all, what good is a backup if it’s wiped out in the same fire that takes out the original system?

Additionally, considerations must be made to ensure that employees have access to data so that they can continue to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. All data should be stored to a centralized location which is replicated (and backed up off site!). This will allow employees to access business critical documents and software from a secondary location by using VPNs. This is also useful during times when an employee is traveling for business, or working from a secondary location, and requires remote access.

This is, of course, a brief overview of what makes a successful Disaster Recovery plan tick. There are many moving parts and components to a successful plan, and the TSI team is ready to assist your company in developing and maintaining yours. For more information, give us a call at (508) 543-6979 or email info@tsisupport.com.

 

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