What we learned or was forced to learn in South Africa was that power is not always a given and it can go off at any time. With power being unstable businesses had to look at alternatives to ensure their hard-earned data is protected when the lights go out. For this reason, more and more customer looked at systems that can be recovered in an instant with limited to no downtime.
Well sure this is not the only reason why systems fail, we also have natural disasters, Ransomware, Virus and all sorts of malicious problems that cause systems to fail. But for us in our small corner of the world, we sit with the factor of unforeseen power failures as well.
To implement a system you need a plan and this is called a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) that will help you to get back on track.
So, What are the ways in which you can protect your data & business from going down? And, how do you go about planning for a disaster situation?
Let’s have a look into what Disaster Recovery actually is, and what it can do for your business.
What is Disaster Recovery and why do you need it?
What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?
Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is a process of creating an additional copy of your data. It is a part of Business Continuity planning and having a DR plan protects from the effects of significant negative events and allows you to quickly resume your business operations following a disaster.
It typically involves doing a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) and Risk Analysis (RA) before generating a detailed plan.
Need for DR Plan
For instance, malware infection could corrupt your computer and render critical files unusable. Some forms of malware even go as far as wiping off the master boot record when detected, causing irrecoverable damage to your production system. With respect to physical damage to your business infrastructure, it falls under two main categories – Natural disasters and man-made disasters. Whatever be the scenario, any of these events can affect you and will have a negative impact on your business’ ability to function normally.
This brings us to the need of having a DR plan.
Having a disaster recovery plan helps you bring your business back on its legs again within a short interval of time. Not only that, it could help you minimize losses and increase uptime, thus upholding customer service at all times.
What are the steps to create a Disaster Recovery Plan for your business
Creating a DR plan is an important aspect of your BCDR strategy.
1) Define all important assets
- Your organization has several important assets, but to create a DR plan, you first need to define what assets are of utmost importance to keep your business running. Find out exactly what you need to protect, and what needs to be done to protect them
- Define each application or server, and check what services will be affected if those applications are affected. For instance, if you are a customer-facing business, determine how many customers will be affected if that particular application/server isn’t available
- It is also necessary to assess the financial impact of the asset you have chosen to protect. Make an analysis and determine how much money your business could lose per minute if that asset isn’t functional
2) Identify the Maximum Tolerable Downtime (MTD)
This defines the maximum length of time that your assets can be unavailable before irreversible damage occurs. It essentially represents the maximum amount of time that you have to get your business running before you lose it completely.
3) Define RPO and RTO
- Your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) defines how much data you can afford to lose. It dictates the allowable data loss a business can incur. For instance, if you backup daily at 7 pm, and if your asset goes down the next day at 6 pm, then it means that the data in the interim is irrecoverable. In this case, your recovery point will be the previous day’s backup. If you are a company that does online transactions, your RPO must be set to the latest second
- Your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the amount of time taken to get your critical business application or system back on its feet. RTO is correlated with the maximum tolerable downtime and is measured in seconds, minutes, hours, or days
4) Decide where you want to replicate your data
- Assess the size of your business, and decide on whether you actually require a secondary DR site
- If you do need one, which is the best option – physical or the cloud? Weigh the pros and cons of both and decide which suits your business
- Having a physical site means that it is more secure, under your control and no third-party needs to be involved. The downside is that it requires maintenance and that in turn increases the cost of infrastructure involved
- Opting for Cloud helps you achieve high availability and its pay-as-you-go model will enable you to cut costs. But it could pose security threats, and bandwidth is a major constraint if you choose to move to the Cloud
5) Test your plan
- Check the performance of your DR plan to ensure that it’s functional
- Document the results at each step, and check the time taken from the start of simulation to the point of time when you can start working on the recovered data
- Update your DR plan as and when you scale your business
- Re-test your plan whenever there is any major infrastructure change or major updates
What software can you use to create a DR plan that actually works?
There are multiple vendors out there in the market. Researching them and zeroing in on one can become tiresome. Every business has different requirements, and you should choose a plan that’s the most suitable for you to be able to derive the maximum benefit out of it.
Our flagship product – Vembu BDR Suite, is one such solution that fits businesses of all size & type.
“Vembu BDR Suite – Comprehensive, cost-effective data protection and disaster recovery solution designed to protect data across Physical, Virtual and Cloud Environments”.
One main factor which differentiates us from other vendors is our price point. We provide enterprise-level features at a price that’s affordable by all types of businesses.
We’ve also offer multiple editions & licensing to cater to the data backup requirements of businesses of all sizes.
We also provide an exclusive package – Vembu BDR Essentials especially for small businesses to reduce their backup expenses. Businesses having VMware or Hyper-V environment with/up to 10 CPU Sockets or 100 VMs can avail this package.
Feature highlights of Vembu BDR :
- Agentless Backup & Replication for VMware
- Host-level Hyper-V Backup
- Disk-Image Backup for Windows
- File-level Backup for Windows, Linux & Mac
- Application-level Backup for MS-Apps
- SaaS Application Backup – Office 365 & G Suite