5 Things You Should Include In Your Disaster Recovery Plan

Written by Bruce McKnight on . Posted in S2D Blog

Disasters strike IT infrastructure hard and can cause massive amounts of downtime and data loss.

Must Haves Disaster Recovery Plan

Most disaster recovery strategies focus on general attempts to rebuild the network of vendors and distributors, but leave out specific plans to restore the company technology. Don’t make this mistake. When designing your plan, do not overlook the following elements

1. Knowing Who Is In ChargeThe first step of the disaster recovery plan, before even declaring a disaster, is to establish the team responsible for implementing the plan. Do not rely on any specific managerial positions, as they could be left vacant in disaster conditions. Instead, develop a protocol for selecting disaster leadership.

2. Plan to Rebuild Technology Without the IT Team

Everyone loves their IT people, and everyone trusts them to rebuild the infrastructure in case of a disaster. This trust helps things run smoothly when not in a disaster situation, but it also leads to blind spots in disaster recovery plans.

Consider the following questions: if any one member of the IT staff needs to leave in a disaster situation, can you bring the system back up? What if all the IT staff need to leave? How fast could new staff learn about your system entirely through the documentation?

Most managers don’t know the answers to these questions. But when designing a recovery plan, you should. There should be a step-by-step process to establishing an IT chain of command, finding the documentation, training new staff, and re-establishing uptime.

3. Full Testing of the Plan

Everyone tests their financial data backups to make sure they work, but they might not be immediately useful if your software backups, tech restoration protocols, and emergency training fail. Test the entire plan from start to finish to find out how long until your infrastructure comes back up.

4. Multi-Pronged Communication Plans

Companies tend to neglect communications, and disaster planning is no exception. If your system is down then email, company phones, internal chat, and other means of communication are often compromised as well. Set up alternative means, like mass texts to mobile phones, emergency 1-800 lines, and more. Make it possible for all employees to find out what’s going on and how to get in contact with the disaster leaders. Inform employees before disasters how disaster recovery communications will work.

5. Establish Cost-Effective Redundancies

There are a few redundancies that will massively help you, like redundant site servers and data centers, but except for extremely large companies, these can be prohibitive. However, they can also be shared. Since it is unlikely that your company and another in a separate city will be in disaster recovery at the same time, you and a separate company can share redundant servers without worrying about overloading the bandwidth. Consider saving money where you can- it frees up resources for additional disaster recovery measures.

For more, check out the resources available through Stage2Data today.