Most companies rely heavily on the availability of their IT environment to service customers and run their businesses. The loss of mission-critical computer systems can cripple an organization. Extended outages may result in a company being forced to go out of business.

A robust disaster recovery plan can be a vital factor in protecting your business against unforeseen events that affect the computing environment. We’re going to look at what makes up a disaster recovery plan, the types of occurrences it protects against, and the benefits of having one in place.

What is a Robust Disaster Recovery Plan?

A robust disaster recovery plan is an organized collection of the processes and procedures necessary to quickly and accurately recover a company’s IT environment. The goal is to minimize the impact of a disaster on internal productivity and the ability to efficiently serve customers. System operation must be restored promptly and maintained until the underlying issues triggering the execution of the plan have been addressed.

Designing a viable disaster recovery plan involves the following essential steps.

  • Identify the company’s business-critical computer systems and data resources. This includes systems that are used for important internal purposes and those that directly affect the customer base. The recovery of these elements needs to be the focus of the ensuing plan steps.
  • Ensure that these systems and data assets are effectively and regularly backed up using an offsite storage solution. Many companies take advantage of the cloud to implement efficient and economical backups to guarantee their data is protected and available for recovery from any location with an internet connection.
  • Develop targeted recovery procedures for each of the business-critical systems and data assets previously identified. The procedures should include identifying and documenting the technical resources responsible for performing the recovery.
  • Test each element of the plan to validate the recovery procedures and discover areas that can be improved. Testing can be scheduled and done on individual systems to minimize the impact on operations. Companies can also opt for a full disaster recovery test that attempts to restore all affected systems simultaneously.
  • Modify the plan to address changes in the IT environment. This may include developing procedures to recover new systems and infrastructure components essential to the business.

What Constitutes a Disaster in an IT Environment?

Many different types of unfortunate incidents can be considered disasters based on their impact on an organization’s IT environment. The following kinds of events can trigger the use of a disaster recovery plan.

  • Natural disasters – Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and blizzards can adversely affect the support services and infrastructure necessary to run an IT environment. These events can be responsible for physical damage to a facility and power outages that make it impossible to maintain operations.
  • Cyberattacks – Cyberattacks are always a possibility in the current landscape of sophisticated threat actors. Systems can be rendered unusable by an attack of ransomware or another type of destructive malware despite your best attempts at securing the environment.
  • Faulty software or hardware – Unexpected hardware or software failures can adversely impact an organization’s computing systems. The severity of the issue may necessitate the execution of the disaster recovery plan.
  • Human error – Simple human error can be responsible for damaging systems or deleting large volumes of important data. It may be necessary to implement elements of a disaster recovery plan to quickly reverse the effects of the error.

What Are the Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Companies with a robust disaster recovery plan can expect multiple benefits if they are impacted by a disaster.

  • Operational benefits – A robust recovery plan allows an organization to minimize the operational effects of a natural or manmade disaster. Restoring system availability quickly and efficiently lets employees get back to work with a minimal hit to productivity. They can get back to providing customers with the products and services your company offers.
  • Financial benefits – The prohibitive cost of unplanned IT outages makes it imperative for companies to recover as quickly as possible. Losses can rapidly mount as employees and customers cannot access system resources. Every minute counts and an effective and well-tested plan is key to a successful recovery that reduces the financial pain associated with an IT disaster.
  • Competitive benefits – The ability to rapidly recover your essential systems following a disaster can provide substantial competitive advantages over less fortunate organizations. A viable disaster recovery plan that restores your ability to provide products and services to your customer base gives you a competitive edge that should not be ignored.
  • Public relations benefits – Quickly restoring system availability to your customers can provide a public relations boost that results in enhanced satisfaction and loyalty. Proving your ability to withstand a disaster can drive new customers your way as people search for reliable business solutions. Failure to promptly recover systems may influence current customers to look for alternatives.

VAST Has Your Back With Disaster Recovery Planning Services

Developing, testing, and implementing a robust disaster recovery plan can be challenging. A lot of bases need to be covered and they can be missed by an inexperienced team. VAST’s team of experienced IT professionals can be instrumental in helping your company prepare for the worst with an effective disaster recovery plan.

Our Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) offering enables companies of any size to protect themselves against disaster and any kind of business-threatening unanticipated outage. The DRaaS solution is built on Amazon Web Services Elastic Disaster Recovery technology. Advantages of our solution include:

  • Reduced costs by only paying for a recovery site when it is needed;
  • Fast recovery from the most current state or a designated point in time;
  • Flexible recovery for cloud and on-premises workloads;
  • Scalable backup and recovery leveraging cloud resources;
  • A unified process for testing elements of the recovery plan;
  • Recovery to alternate AWS regions for increased resiliency.

Our team will help you develop and implement a disaster recovery plan to ensure you have the high availability your business needs. Give us a call and start protecting your valuable IT environment with a robust disaster recovery plan.