Celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day, I’m reminded that luck has very little to do with being prepared to recover your systems in the event of an outage. In fact, one of the most important lessons from the 2014 Annual Report on the State of Disaster Recovery Preparedness from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council involves a commitment to taking action—and not accepting the status quo. Based on hundreds of responses from organizations worldwide, the Annual Report offers a few key suggestions for implementing DR best practices so that companies can be much better prepared to recover from outages or disasters.
You can download the report for free at http://drbenchmark.org/
Here are three of the Annual Report’s major recommendations:
- Build a DR plan for everything you need to recover, including applications, networks and document repositories, business services such as the entire order processing system, or even your entire site in the event of an outage or disaster. It’s an important exercise that will force you to prioritize your DR planning efforts
- Define Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) & Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) for critical applications. Without these important metrics, you cannot set proper expectations and assumptions from management, employees, and customers about your DR capabilities and how to improve them. You need to set the playing field before a disaster or outage happens. There is a free tool, for example, that can help you test your own Recovery Time Actuals or RTAs in VMware environments.
- Test critical applications as frequently as possible to validate they will recover within RTOs/RPOs. For DR preparedness to improve, companies around the world must begin to automate these processes and get beyond the high cost in time and money of verifying and testing their DR plans. If you don’t test, you simply can’t know what will happen.
As both intentional and accidental threats to IT systems continue to grow and accelerate, we at the DR Preparedness Council have dedicated our efforts to increasing awareness of the need for DR preparedness. At the same time, we will continue to identify and share best practices as they evolve so that we can help organizations worldwide feel more secure and confident about their own ability to recover systems when outages and disasters strike.
To get you started, you can do a few things right now to improve your own DR preparedness:
Take time out to fill out the online benchmark survey to see how you are doing compared to others
Get a free trial of PHD Virtual ReliableDR and see how you can affordably test your recovery capabilities every week, every day or every hour if you want—a breakthrough in DR planning and preparedness.
To learn more, tune into an online webinar on Wednesday, March 26 with The Disaster Recovery Journal. At this webinar, I’ll be giving a sneak-preview of my presentation at Disaster Recovery Journal’s Spring World 2014, the industry’s largest business continuity conference and exhibition, taking place March 30 – April 2, 2014 in Orlando, Florida. By attending this webinar you will learn:
- The Findings of the 2013 DR Preparedness Survey
- What Downtime Costs in Real Dollar Terms
- Top Causes of Outages
- Best Practices from the Best Prepared Organizations
- How to Increase Your DR Preparedness