Ensure your DR plan is ready to fly when needed

Disaster Recovery (DR), the act of ensuring that your systems and departments are ready for a disaster and that your IT systems can recover from it, is an important issue for all companies. While large companies with operations in more than one country can often bounce back quickly, small to medium businesses in the disaster area might have a tougher time, Ensuring a DR plan is reliable is necessary for small to medium sized businesses.

Here are four ways to ensure your DR plan is sufficient and company is disaster-ready.

Are your systems compliant?
Many DR systems are licensed, and it’s important to ensure that these licences are both up-to-date and supported by all necessary backup systems. If you’ve added or changed components like a server or software, but not upgraded the relevant licenses, chances are your systems won’t be covered when disaster strikes. If this is the case, when you go to retrieve the backup, you’ll just get a license error; your data can’t be retrieved.

Another issue with DR software is that it’s often not used, lying dormant for years. You should regularly check and ensure the software meets modern compliance standards, is up-to-date and licenses have not expired. You should also be aware of how the software you use integrates and interacts with the DR software. For example, an upgrade to a new email server, may not communicate well with your DR software.

What’s the status of your backup server?
As most DR plans usually involve a separate server from day-to-day servers, it’s important to ensure that they are functioning properly, usually by having the vendor test them. It’s also equally important to communicate with the vendors or manufacturers of the servers to ensure that the correct software/hardware licenses are in place and cover the function. If they aren’t, you could risk legal action or being fined.

Test regularly
Regular tests are an integral part of a properly functioning DR plan. You need to conduct tests on at least a yearly basis to ensure all systems involved in the DR plan function well. From these tests, observe any function that performed poorly, or not at all, and take steps to fix or replace it.

Work with a knowledgeable partner
DR plans and systems can be a complicated, almost messy aspect of business. While this may be, DR is crucial to the survival of a business after a disaster, and shouldn’t be treated lightly. To get it right liaise with DR experts to create and maintain a plan that meets your needs.

If you would like help with either implementing or improving your DR plan, please contact us, we may have a solution for you.

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