Are you prepared for a Disaster Recovery?
By Nikole Smith-Toptas, Marketing Manager, CDI Managed Services
If you’re considering implementing a cloud based disaster recovery plan for your organization, there are a number of items you need to think about with respect to what you currently have in place and what you may need to add. Employing a cloud environment for your DR can’t be done on a whim. It requires careful thought, so here’s a checklist to help get you started and hopefully make your cloud-based discussions with both your internal teams and cloud-based providers a more productive experience:
Identify Your Current Infrastructure Environment
How your current IT infrastructure environment is configured is an important piece of your DR plan and you’ll need to ask yourself these questions:
What kind of storage do we currently have?
What systems do we currently have in place?
What is our mix of physical and virtual machines?
Have we already tiered our applications? If not, do we need to?
In the event of a disaster, do we want instantaneous failover or are we comfortable with some downtime? If the latter, how much downtime?
Identifying these areas of your IT environment gives you a solid base from which to start planning your cloud-based DR implementation.
Determine Your Bandwidth
Bandwidth costs have seen considerable reductions over the past few years but the amount of bandwidth you currently have will have a direct effect on the speed, recovery time and amount of data you want stored in a cloud environment. You need to ask yourself:
What bandwidth do we currently have available for upload?
What RPO do we want?
And for those that already have a DR plan in place, what sort of change rate are you seeing in your environment? If your company has recently adopted an aggressive growth strategy you may be looking at much larger bandwidth requirements.
Budget – be realistic with your DR plan when it comes to budget. In our experience, most organizations start their DR discussions wanting immediate failover and recovery – until they find out the true cost. At that point they’ll determine what they really need and what they can manage without depending on the budget available. CDI Managed Services is adept at providing appropriate cloud-based DR solutions that fit within budgets for our customers.
Testing – how are you going to verify that your DR plan works? The only surefire way is to test it. Cloud-based DR has made testing much easier to execute so we strongly recommend an annual DR test to find out what works and what doesn’t. CDI Managed Services offers a complimentary DR test.
Unfortunately, a well-conceived, cloud-based DR plan comes too late for the majority of companies that don’t have one when disaster strikes. There are a few lucky businesses that survive downtime during a disaster but they usually conclude that an effective DR plan isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s a necessity.