Whether natural or manmade, disasters can cripple any organizations IT environment. For this reason, it is important for every organization to have a well-developed disaster recovery plan in place. Every business, no matter the size, should formulate a disaster recovery plan to ensure that business operations are not interrupted for an extended period of time. When business operations cease, for any length, a business can be destroyed. Mere days of downtime can mean permanent shutdown for many companies.
This is why many companies choose to store their equipment offsite at a colocation center designed to protect the equipment. Colocation centers offer a means of freeing up valuable office space. In addition, their disaster recovery plans are clear cut and secure in the face of challenges.
When establishing a disaster recovery plan, there are several considerations for a business and its data center partner.
Determine the Risk
Assessment of the risk involved is an important element of the entire disaster recovery planning process. Business owners need to be realistic in assessing the risk of several different disasters.. This includes analyzing weather trends to determine if the business is located in a high risk zone. Tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes all have the potential to interrupt a business’ activities.. As do high winds, heavy rains floods and snow storms. Being located in one of these high-danger zones only increases the risk. Companies also need to assess the risk of manmade disasters, as well. These can be just as devastating as a natural disaster.
Furthermore, when choosing a data center, businesses should look for one that is located in a relatively low occurrence zone. This will allow the data center to offer more in terms of protection. It can also ensure that it is not compromising any equipment or business activities.
Budgeting is always important, as having the available funding is a necessity. Most businesses allocate between 5 percent and 10 percent of their annual budgets to IT disaster recovery purposes. This budget may involve the funds for purchase of new equipment. But, it will more so involve the funding necessary to host additional equipment offsite at a trusted colocation data center. Working with a data center directly can answer questions on what cost is involved with what services. Data center representatives should also help companies get the disaster recovery contract that fits their budgets. Services offered for disaster recovery will differ between data centers. However, a reputable data center does not just host equipment. It also ensures that the necessary backups are performed and maintenance carried out on the servers. Working directly with the data center can give the company an idea of how much needs to be set aside for disaster recovery services.
Once the amount of risk and budget is determined, the company should discuss the options available to them at the data center. Most data centers offer assistance to enable the business to easily set up at the center itself. This includes having the available workspace and means necessary to access the equipment directly should the need arise. A quality data center will allow an entire workforce to relocate to the data center if need be. If a business’ home location is destroyed, it will need to have somewhere to continue business operations. Performing trial runs periodically throughout the year is highly recommended. This can help determine whether the disaster recovery plan is sufficient or if changes are needed.
Because of the importance of disaster recovery, the entire process should be taken seriously. Careful consideration must be placed on the above steps.
Henry Huffman believes every company should consider disaster recovery services. These services are critical for keeping businesses running after system failures. Data Centers offering disaster recovery services provide the redundancy.