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Imagine that your company has experienced a potentially devastating disaster. Systems are down, hard drives were destroyed, but your data was recovered. Now you might think you’re in the clear, but unfortunately, this is only half of the battle – simply recovering your data does not mean that it is available or, more importantly, actionable.
The Step Beyond Recovery
Recovering your data is one thing, but restoring it and being able to actually use it is another story. In order to ensure that your data is readily available and actionable, you have to confirm that your production IT environment is seamlessly integrated with your target site to mitigate risks.
You need to consider the infrastructure of your recovery site. This includes establishing a network, in addition to the necessary hardware. Getting your business-critical servers and applications up and running within the time you establish (your recovery time objective, or RTO) should be your top priority. This is especially important if your operations could impact clients, prospects, or could incur serious fines or profit loss. The key is to be prepared beforehand; establishing networks doesn’t (and can’t) happen overnight, and your production and target locations need an established network with adequate bandwidth so that your data can get from point A to point B.
How To Get Things Running
Location. The first step to running restored applications and servers is knowing where you are going to recover your data. Picking the right geographic location is key; it has to be far away enough so that it wouldn’t be affected by a regional natural disaster. In other words, it should be geographically distinct, but not egregiously so. Find a location that makes sense for your unique business objectives and requirements.
Network. Once you’ve established your ideal location, you have to make sure it is truly equipped for recovery, restoration, and more importantly, action. If you want this location to be a warm site or a hot site, you must have an established network that connects you to this location. A warm site utilizes the most recent backups of your system to perform a bare metal restoration. It allows you to pre-install your hardware and pre-configure your bandwidth needs, without any prerequisite software or OS installed on the system that it is being restored to. If you want the target IT environment to be a hot site, it will have virtually a mirror image of the current state of your production IT environment; however, this requires a high availability solution.
Connection. After you establish a network, you must establish sufficient bandwidth. In the event of IT disaster, cutting corners on bandwidth is a dangerous game to play. Your bandwidth must be sufficient to support not only the backup data, but also to run your production environment from the target location. The best option is to talk to your internet service provider (ISP) to establish a burstable bandwidth. This will allow you to get the bandwidth you need, when you need it, even if it’s far above the specified threshold that you normally use.
The Take-Home Message
When it comes to being ready for a disaster, preparation is key. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your recovery site. ISPs are not famous for their quick turnaround, and network lines don’t get implemented overnight. Planning is a necessity, and making sure that everything is set up for the plan to run smoothly long before a disaster hits is the best way to ensure your business’ continuity.
Here at Baseline Data Services, we are aware that simply knowing where your data is isn’t enough. Having your data in an accessible, available, and actionable state is key to your business continuity. We will help you establish your disaster recovery plan, determine an adequate location, setup sufficient bandwidth and more. Our experienced engineers know what it takes to keep your business running smoothly in any scenario, and it’s our top priority to make sure that you’re prepared.