The importance of a robust and reliable Disaster Recovery (DR) solution is often overlooked – until about 30 seconds after you need it. A recent survey by Gartner Group showed that 80% of enterprises in the last 24 months experienced an incident that required the activation of their DR solution.
What is Disaster Recovery?
Disaster Recovery is a set of tools, processes and policies that strives to minimise downtime in the wake of a catastrophic event that renders your business systems unusable such as: malicious cyber-attack; ransomware; earthquake; hardware failure; or fire. The Recovery component of DR is the timely restoration of mission critical services to minimise the impact and return the organisation to normal operation.
What Disaster Recovery isn’t.
DR is not RAID, snapshots or checkpoints. These are all solutions that provide resilience and redundancy for data. Disaster Recovery is focused on ensuring availability to data after disaster, when resilience and redundancy have failed.
The importance of Disaster Recovery?
When IT systems are down, business stops. In a hyper-connected always on world, the importance of DR has much broader scope than simply getting the accounts team back into their email. Online shopping is running 24/7, and customers expect to be able to place orders. Those orders need to be filled in a warehouse, shipped, and tracked. Payroll needs to be done, and yes even accounts need access to their emails. In the face of a disaster, DR is about protecting your brand, reputation, and public image by getting your critical systems up and running quickly, so business can resume with minimal impact to the customer.
3-2-1 backup rule
Having a reliable backup is core to DR. It is common for companies to start restoring from a backup only to find that it is incomplete or corrupt. When was the last time you checked your backups could be restored?
There are many different backup solutions, technologies, and mediums out there and the choices can be overwhelming. Backups can be stored on tapes; USB drives; RDX cartridges; Network Attached Storage (NAS)s; Storage Area Networks (SAN)s and even Hard Disk copies. In addition, there is the world of High Availability, cloud backups, DR-as-a-Service (DRaaS) and replication and the complexity of managing retention periods across all these technologies.
The 3-2-1 backup rule is the timeless standard for backup strategy across all levels of users be they home, small business or multi-national companies.
3 – Keep 3 copies of your data: 1 primary, and 2 backups
2 – Keep the files on 2 alternative media types to protect against a variety of disasters (such as a local NASs backup and an air-gapped USB)
1 – Store at least 1 copy offsite (such as the cloud, alternative off-site location)
We strongly suggest that your organisation has a robust and reliable DR solution to fall back on in the event of a major interruption to your business systems.
Author: Mitchell James – Consulting Manger, Force IT