What is a data disaster recovery plan

Disaster planning is a complex process that every business needs to commit to before a disaster strikes.

By Max Burkhalter
August 31, 2021
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Disaster planning is a complex process that every business needs to commit to before a disaster strikes. A data disaster recovery plan can help you rally in the face of a natural or manmade catastrophic event, preventing you from having all of your hard work building your company destroyed.

What exactly is a data disaster recovery plan?
In most modern usages, data recovery refers to the ability to get back records and information you may have lost access to. A disaster that affects data could be a natural event like a earthquake, a flood or a tornado, or it could be a manmade incident such as a factory explosion or a cyberattack.

Making a disaster recovery plan depends on first understanding what you are trying to recover in the case of a disaster, meaning what your data is, where it is stored and how it is accessed. If you store data on physical servers on-site at your business, they may be more vulnerable to natural disaster. A fire, flood or earthquake could damage your data storage setup and wipe out years of accumulated information that is critical to running your business.

In the face of a disaster, it's assumed that your business can be utterly disrupted and you become unable to effectively provide your customers or clients with what they need. When your data is lost or compromised, everything from customer accounts and orders to shipping information and vendor schedules can become inaccessible. How can you service your customers if you don't know who they are, where they are and what they purchased?

Your data disaster recovery plan (DDRP) can cover all eventualities and potential points of breakdown, from the location of your data and the routes through which it can be accessed to the details-level planning of your organization's IT infrastructure and applications. The goal of your DDRP is to allow your IT department to regain enough data and functionality of internal systems to operate your business, even if it is at reduced level of profitability and productivity. VXchange notes that testing your plan in a simulated disaster should be the final step of this process.

Where is your data? 
Where your data is stored will dictate how your plan is laid out.

If your data is stored in a physical, on-site data center, consider using a virtualization service to create a virtual version of all IT resources including your servers, applications and networks. The data is all stored in an off-site host, and if something happens at your physical location, a full restoration of your system can be completed without rebuilding servers or taking weeks to regain access to critical data and applications. Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) means a third-party provider hosts and runs a secondary hot site for your data, allowing them to rebuild and ship servers to your physical location on demand. IBM recommends having a second set of servers always ready to go that you can switch to if needed.

If your data is stored in the cloud, the likelihood of a physical disaster causing havoc is less. The more pressing issue is cybersecurity. You'll need to have a backup of all data in case there was a breach into your cloud provider's network, in case your customers' data is leaked. Cloud-based disaster recovery may be provided by your vendor, but it's wise to have another backup as well in case they were to be completely compromised. 

Perle can support your efforts to create a solid DDRP, suppling on-site components to strengthen your infrastructure against challenging environments. Read our customer success stories to learn more.


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