Disaster recovery solutions are a crucial part of managing data and IT services in an organization. They help recover data that has been affected due to theft, cyberattacks, corruption, mismanagement, or even loss of power to servers. They’re tried and tested methodologies that aim to restore operations, regain access to backup servers, and reinstate the functionality of operations during times of unpredicted disasters.
So what are some of the best disaster recovery solutions that will help preserve the data of a company? There are several frameworks, solutions, and practices that can serve as contingency plans during times of need, some of which include tight security, comprehensive testing methods and standards, and prudent risk analyses, among others. The best solutions have certain common denominators that are instrumental in making them reliable.
Important Aspects of Good Disaster Recovery Solutions
The principle behind data recovery solutions is pretty straightforward. It relies upon reinstating computer processing and data replication either within the organization or in an off-site location that’s unaffected. This ensures that functionality can be restored with very little loss of data and minimal downtime. There are certain key elements and aspects that are part of good disaster recovery solutions:
1) A designated disaster recovery and management team
It’s always good to have a designated team of experienced specialists on deck who will develop, execute, and maintain the disaster recovery solution. It’s also imperative that the roles and responsibilities of every member on this team are clearly defined. The team should also be trained to communicate instructions and guidelines pertaining to the disaster recovery plan (DRP) to the employees.
2) Comprehensive testing and optimization standards
A good disaster recovery solution needs to be tested consistently for a wide range of possible scenarios. Threats to data security will constantly evolve over time and as such the plan should also be updated to counter those threats. The team should be able to present their solution as relatively fool-proof for even the worst of possibilities. These data protection strategies need to be constantly optimized to patch up any data security vulnerabilities.
3) Prudent risk analysis and evaluation
The best solutions are always created by first assessing, analyzing, and evaluating the risks especially to the organization’s sensitive data. Teams have shown great success in developing formidable disaster recovery strategies when they focus on the type of threat, and the resources required to thwart them.
4) Identification and isolation of critical data assets
A strong disaster recovery plan documents which data, resources, applications, and systems are most important for the continuity of business operations. It’s beneficial to clearly identify the assets that are critical to meet business requirements and state the actions required to recover those data assets.
5) Reliable backup servers that are kept up-to-date
A disaster recovery plan is only as strong as its ability to backup data. The secret to protecting important data is to back it up regularly to a cloud and backup servers. The best DRPs clearly state recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives. These parameters account for the frequency of data backup cycles and the maximum allowable downtime before irreparable damage occurs to the organization.
Essential Pieces to Build Reliable Disaster Recovery Solutions
When aspiring to build a robust and dynamic disaster recovery plan, there are certain essential pieces that have to be focused upon. These include the following:
- Building a competent team of experts and professionals in a collaborative environment.
- Prioritizing the development of contingency plans for assets that are essential for continuity of business operations
- Sending a detailed business impact analysis report to expert consultants of the firm to get their perspective.
- Dedicating a sub-team dedicated towards targeting specific areas of data recovery that’s well-versed in the existing state of IT infrastructure.
- Dedicating another sub-team tasked with integrating applications and configurations while ensuring data consistency.
- Assigning an executive management team that’s responsible for approving data management policies, recovery strategies and outlining the obstacles to implementation.
Popular Disaster Recovery Practices
There are several disaster recovery solutions that have proven to be reliable and effective. Here are a few of them:
- Establishing hot sites: At all times, a hot site keeps up-to-date copies of the data. Hot sites take longer to set up and cost more than cold sites, but they reduce downtime significantly.
- Creating point-in-time copies: Point-in-time copies are a form of snapshots taken that can be used to reproduce a copy of the entire database at a particular time. This copy can then be used to restore data but is only viable if the snapshot is stored on a virtual machine or off-site that has not been impacted by the disaster.
- Regular back-up: This is the most basic form of disaster recovery, which involves storing data off-site or on a detachable drive. However, backing up data only helps with business continuity to a limited extent because the IT infrastructure is not backed up.
- Datacenter disaster recovery: In certain sorts of calamities, the physical features of a data center can help safeguard data and speed up disaster recovery. For example, fire suppression devices will aid in the survival of data and computer equipment in the event of a fire. Businesses will be able to sail through power disruptions without grinding to a halt if they have a backup power source.
- Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): A DRaaS provider shifts an organization’s computer processing to its own cloud infrastructure in the case of a disaster or ransomware attack. This allows a firm to resume operations seamlessly from the service provider’s location, even if the entire organization’s servers are down. Although latency will be reduced by shifting to DRaaS servers closer to an organization’s location, in the event of a major natural disaster, a neighboring DRaaS may be affected as well.
- Instant recovery: Instant recovery works in a similar way as point-in-time copies, except instead of copying a database, it takes a snapshot of the complete virtual computer.
- Backup as a Service: A third-party provider backs up an organization’s data, but not its IT infrastructure, in the same way that data is backed up at a remote site.
- Establishing cold sites: An organization builds up basic infrastructure in a second, rarely used facility to provide a space for employees to work following a natural disaster or fire in this sort of disaster recovery. A cold site can help with business continuity because operations can continue, but it does not provide a way to safeguard or recover sensitive data. As such they may need to be paired with other frameworks or strategies.
- Virtualization: Off-site virtual computers that are unaffected by physical disasters can be used to back up certain data and operations. They can even be used as a working clone of an organization’s whole computing environment. This requires frequent data and task transfers, as well as good communication within the IT team regarding how many virtual machines are running within a company.
Protect Your Data With Disaster Recovery Solutions from Abacus
The best disaster recovery solutions help the organization plan for disastrous events that could disrupt operations and potentially even lead to losses. An efficient DRP could be the difference between surviving a cyberattack or shutting down entirely.
Abacus IT boasts years of experience with financial institution IT security, maintenance, and enhancement. We take great pleasure in our extensive portfolio of security services, which can improve your operations by making your data safer. As a partner of many financial firms, we take pride in our comprehensive package of security services. For more information on our services, get in touch with us today.