In this edition of the Watch Out Wednesdays newsletter, we’ll shift our attention from the cyber criminals who are clearly out to get us, to natural forces that only seem that way.
With Harvey’s devastating effects certain to be felt for years to come, and Irma bearing down on South Florida, we wanted to take the opportunity for some straight talk on IT disaster recovery.
First, we’ve prepared a checklist that touches on securing your network infrastructure, as well as valuable tips on maintaining your physical plant, along with sound advice on how your business and your employees can get ready. Business continuity means a lot more than the rapid restoration of the blinky lights in your server room. We’ve gone the extra mile to make sure you’re thinking of the bigger picture.
Second, if you are already an SLPowers client, be assured that we’ve engineered a geographically diverse environment, so that our clients’ data remains safe and available, and our Global Support Desk and Network Operations Center remain fully operational with personnel from other parts of the country.
Third, let’s make sure you don’t fall victim to the same Disaster Recovery Mistakes other organizations are prone to making. Like these:
1. Save your improvising for the comedy club.
Nothing is more chaotic than the hours immediately following a massive network outage. Employees are suddenly unproductive, and may be angry about the fact. Customers may be unable to get through, and ticked off in their own right. Figuring out what to do in the midst of all the crazy is a sure strategy for failure. Your IT staff must be comfortably familiar with a plan to address all aspects of business recovery. In addition, department managers and senior executives need to know the plan, so that they aren’t scrambling to undermine it when you-know-what breaks loose.
2. Testing, testing, 1-2-3.
A disaster recovery plan that looks good on paper but has never proven effective is a huge roll of the dice. At SLPowers, we test the recovery of every Guaranteed Networks Restore client’s critical data every month. We don’t want to find out in the middle of a Category 4 storm that we overlooked something. And you don’t want that, either.
3. Don’t ignore other stakeholders.
Disasters impact the entire business, not just IT. But far too often IT professionals fail to elicit the input of key players elsewhere in the company. And if they “guess wrong” when putting together their company’s unique recovery time objectives, restoring key organizational functions could be needlessly delayed.
4. High Availability is NOT Disaster Recovery.
Sharp IT pros know enough to build HA into their organization’s environment. That way they can anticipate many of the normal day-to-day problems that threaten to disrupt network performance. But disaster planning is about what happens when all of those problems affect all of your systems. It’s about getting ready for “the Big One.” And it demands a level of focus far beyond that of ordinary HA and redundancy.
5. Don’t buy into someone else’s DR solution.
Our clients don’t subscribe to a generic disaster recovery solution. Just as we’ve developed a comprehensive plan designed to keep us running, we help them develop plans uniquely designed to keep them running. Disaster recovery and business continuity are not one-size-fits-all.
If you want us to help you get your organization ahead of the next looming catastrophe, give us a call.