Designing an effective DR Plan

To assist with preparation of a DR plan for your company, we will create a plan that includes the following four essential steps in the process:

Step 1: Perform a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

Any comprehensive backup and DR planning process must begin with an accurate assessment of your current virtualized environment.

  • How much data are you currently managing?
  • Where is it located?
  • How critical is it to your business operations?

Step 2: Perform a Risk Assessment

In preparing a risk assessment, be sure to leverage all available records to assess the threat of disaster. Such sources might include (but are not limited to):

  • Company records of disruptive events
  • Employee recollection of disruptive events
  • Local and national media records
  • Local libraries
  • First-responder organizations
  • National Weather Service historical data
  • S. Geological Survey maps and other documentation
  • Experience of key stakeholder organizations
  • Experience of vendors doing business with the firm
  • Government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Energy, etc.

Step 3: Design a Risk Management Strategy

Once you have identified the critical elements of your virtualized landscape, the business impact of any disruption to it, and the likelihood of disaster, the question becomes: What can I do to mitigate the damage?

  • RPO (how much data you can afford to lose)
  • RTO (how quickly your business needs to be back in operation)
  • Data residency laws (where your data can legally be stored)
  • Budget for implementation

Step 4: Configure and Test (and Keep Testing!) Your DR Configuration

You need to know whether your backup and DR solution is configured correctly before you actually have to use it.  The only way to achieve that is by regularly testing your DR.