Can your backup and DR strategy weather the next big storm?
It’s hurricane season and it’s never too late to ensure your business can weather the next big storm. Proper preparation improves the chances and speed of recovery—keeping your business up and running.
We sat down with Centre's Regional Services Manager, Thomas Flores, and asked the most common and impactful questions businesses should ask to ensure their backups and Disaster Recovery (DR) strategies are solid.
Q. Are all servers confirmed as belonging to a backup job?
A. New servers are added to environments all of the time, it’s best to confirm all servers are backed up before needing to perform a successful restoration.
Q. When was the last successful data restoration performed?
A. If the answer is "I can’t remember" or "it was a couple of months ago...", then it’s probably time to set time aside to check restorations.
Q. Is everything going to be available in the event that a recovery is required (i.e. dongles, MAC-based licenses, etc.)?
A. If you don’t have access to these, or the requirements aren’t documented, even if you have the data you may not be able to access it.
Q. Are backups stored offsite and how often are they removed from the premise?A. Regarding disk and tape based backups:
- Disk or tape based backups will both be rendered unusable if flooding occurs.
- Move tape based backups offsite, so both the primary data set and backups aren’t lost.
- Replicate disk based backup systems to another site.
Q. Are business requirements and current IT practices in alignment?A. Regarding the relationship between business leaders and IT:
- Not having business requirements documented could cause confusion and delay when a full or partial recovery is needed.
- The business may have the expectation that the IT team will have business back online in a matter of hours, or days, in the event of a catastrophe.
- It’s best to have a clear understanding of what the business wants/needs and with consideration of what the IT team can provide, so that gaps can be identified and corrected.
Q. Where will backups be restored if your primary compute and storage aren’t available?
A. New equipment can be hard to procure after a catastrophe, so if your business was impacted it’s also likely that many others are also in the same position and new servers/storage critical to restoration can be impossible to find quickly. Aspects to think about, include:
- If you have hardware available, will it be enough to run all of the business applications without performance degradation?
- If there will be degradation, is the business aware and has approval been given to operate in this fashion?
If having a secondary site that mirrors your production environment isn’t an option, find a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) provider that can get you operational again.
Q. If already using replication software or native application failover technologies, have those technologies been tested recently?
A. Testing failovers regularly help ensure that all of the quirks are worked out and documented. Documentation for 'how' to failover should be clear and well organized to ensure that any team member can perform it if necessary. Testing also helps to ensure that the current technologies used for failover are keeping up with the business needs and may need to be replaced if they are no longer a fit.
Although the above items should be discussed, they are not a complete list of items that need to be reviewed for businesses. Every business is unique in their needs and requirements in keeping them functional and productive. Centre Technologies is equipped to assist with determining how prepared your business is to quickly recover from a disaster, assessing and making recommendations to adopt a DRaaS, and being your cloud hosting provider.