Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a replica of either your virtual or physical servers that lives with a third party.
Why Disaster Recovery Planning is Important
Disaster recovery planning is crucial to safe business operations but is usually the first thing cut when the budget gets tight. While working with our customers we always ask about their disaster recovery plan, and we usually hear “we have that in the works” or “that is something we will work on in the future after we get through our top IT priorities.” However, a disaster recovery plan that is “in the works” does not help a business when a disaster happens.
What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?
Simply put, a disaster recovery plan is the steps taken before, during, and after a disaster or catastrophic event. The goal is to minimize business downtime, data loss, and network security breaches. Disasters are a threat to every size, type, and location of a business. Certain geographic locations can require additional planning if there is a higher threat of natural disaster. There are many kinds of “disasters” that can occur, it is important to identify what those are before starting a disaster recovery plan.
What would be considered a disaster?
We have noticed that a lot of businesses do not have or update their disaster recovery plan because they do not live in a region where natural disasters frequently occur. However, there are a multitude of events that we consider a disaster when it comes to business- especially with our reliance on technology:
- Application Failure
- Communication Failure
- Data Center Disaster
- Building Disaster
- Campus Disaster
- Citywide Disaster
- Regional Disaster
- National Disaster
- Multinational Disaster
Many things can cause the items listed above to happen, some of them natural and some of them due to human error. It is important to have a disaster recovery plan in place so that when an unforeseen event such as a fire, a cybersecurity breach, or employee error occurs everyone knows what steps to take to prevent prolonged downtime. In some cases, a natural disaster may wipe out an entire physical space, but with the proper plan in place, all business data can be recovered allowing business to pick up again.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
When the COVID-19 global pandemic happened, many businesses around the world experienced a form of disaster. The shift from in-person to remote work was a huge shock that many were not prepared for. The ability to support remote work requires the proper applications, data center components and communication platforms. Businesses who had not planned for business functions to exists solely over the internet were left scrambling to set up VPNs or cloud-based storage, methods of voice communication, and new applications allowing employees to conduct meetings or locate business files.
As we have mentioned before, quick fixes or installs often result in long term problems down the road. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many businesses moved as quickly as possible to implement new tools and hired 3rd party partners to enable them to keep operating. This created an environment for potential cybersecurity threats and hacking as well as employees being undertrained on using new tools. When new applications, platforms, and hardware are not fully researched or vetted initially, there is a domino effect of issues that can arise later. While no one could have foreseen a global pandemic shutting down business, disaster recovery planning helped many businesses navigate the stressful time a little easier.
What if I do not know how to create a disaster recovery plan?
You are not alone if you do not know where to start on a disaster recovery plan. That is why there are providers who offer Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRASS). These provides can work with you to determine what you need to be planning for and what the biggest threats to your business could be. In general, a DRASS provider will help you with the following:
- Insurance Coverage
- Resources (people and physical facilities)
- Compliance Requirements (HIPAA for example)
Disaster recovery planning is very customizable and will look different for each business, but it is very important to have a plan in place. In some cases, a disaster recovery plan can save a business from going under after a catastrophic event.
If you have questions about Disaster Recovery Planning or DRASS, reach out to us at ContactUs@Matrix-NDI.com or call 763-475-5500