Simple 5-Step Disaster Recovery Planning Process for SMEs
The start of a new year is a great time to review your IT infrastructure and plan ahead for future business challenges.
Effective Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning are vital to protect against major outages and other disasters.
How robust are your Disaster Recovery plan and systems?
In a previous blog post, we discussed some of the concerns around protecting your data, post-Brexit. If you’re reviewing your systems in line with a post-Brexit world, it makes sense to look more widely at where and how you back up your data, and the process you have in place for Disaster Recovery.
One of the big challenges for small and medium-sized businesses is achieving similar levels of resilience and continuity as larger organisations, with fewer resources. Limitations on budget, time, staff and the technology available can all make parity difficult to achieve.
This is where cloud technology comes into its own. With the right partnerships in place, enterprising SMEs can utilise a multi-cloud strategy to ensure Business Continuity while making intelligent use of their resources.
Cloud hosting ensures you have access to your data from anywhere, and backing your data up through a trusted third party platform like Veeam will give both your team and your customers additional confidence in your business resilience.
Key steps for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning
1) Define your needs
Make sure you are clear from the outset on your specific recovery needs. Which applications, systems and data are business critical? Next, identify the recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs).
For an RTO, specify when the clock starts ticking and consider what tolerance could be accepted for an outage. For an RPO, how current is the data before the disaster?
Once you have these, organise each recovery set into logical groupings around similar recovery objectives. You now have an overview of all your business critical technology and datasets organised into workload recovery tiers. This can then be used as a framework to begin discussions with potential cloud service providers.
2) Assign responsibilities
The internal roles and responsibilities for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity should be clearly defined and understood. Who would be available to recover the data and initiate a Disaster Recovery plan?
Each person that will be involved should know what they need to do, who they need to communicate with, and the full chain of command. Chaos often accompanies a disaster, so the ability to calmly and confidently react to rapidly changing circumstances is vital. The time it takes to reach and notify the relevant people should be built in to the overall execution process.
3) Find the right partner
The majority of businesses don’t have the in-house expertise to create a comprehensive and robust Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan. This is why it is important to engage a provider who can also act as your strategic partner. The right provider can help you craft a bespoke plan of how your business would utilise various cloud services to cover your needs.
Not all cloud based hosting and Disaster Recovery systems offer the same level of security. And choosing one of the larger well-known cloud service providers isn’t necessarily the best option. Smaller service providers often deliver a much more personalised service. Look for a UK-based partner that specialises in Disaster Recovery and back up.
Read more on this in our blog post ‘Finding the right Disaster Recovery provider’.
4) Choose the right level of support
By this stage you should have a clearer understanding of how much help you need and how much you can manage internally. Balancing the limitations of your time and staffing against the limitations of your budget, set out a clear plan with your service provider about what (and how much) input you need from them. Budgeting more than you expect to spend is a prudent approach to guarantee resilience for your business.
5) Select a suitable technology platform
If your business is harnessing a cloud approach, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) should be a key component of your IT infrastructure plan.
Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is defined as “a cloud computing and backup service model that uses cloud resources to protect applications and data from disruption caused by disaster. It gives an organisation a total system backup that allows for Business Continuity in the event of system failure.
DRaaS is often offered in conjunction with a Disaster Recovery plan (DRP) or Business Continuity plan (BCP). DRaaS is also known as Business Continuity as a service (BCaaS).”
Our experience in the industry has led us to believe that Veeam offers the best and most cost effective cloud solution for most SMEs, which is why we recommend the Veeam DRaaS solution to our customers.
Veeam’s affordable and efficient image-based replication delivers image-based Disaster Recovery for ALL applications and operating systems.
The benefits of working with virtualDCS for your DRaaS include highly secure protection with our ISO 27001 accreditation and a guarantee of UK-based data centre locations only. We can deliver rapid and immediate recovery with increased flexibility over your data protection, depending on your needs.
FREE 14-DAY TRIAL
We also offer a free 14-day trial of our DRaaS solution.
To access your free trial or for more information, call the team on 03453 888 327 or complete the contact form here.