Many businesses risk grave losses due to failures and disasters yet continue to depend on un-validated tape backups should they need to recover from a major outage. Implementing a disaster recovery plan can be time consuming and daunting; to the point which many simply put it off.

Through some basic steps, businesses can better protect themselves against catastrophic data loss, these steps include:

Fire, flood, human error, hardware failure and malicious acts can all cause a small business to at best suffer financial losses, at worst and is far too often the case, shut down for good, every business is susceptible to some king of outage, the need to plan for a disaster is real and needs to be carried out.

The first thing you need to do is understand what is important to your business. Identify those systems that are critical to the running of your business, be it an email server, bespoke financial package or other data, building a continuity plan will help you recover these systems in the most cost effective, efficient way possible.

Another important aspect of your plan should be that the business downtime should be a short as possible, an hour lost in a small business with a few employees can be manageable but if you have hundreds of employees then even an hour downtime is equivalent to weeks of lost work cumilitavely.

Have your data backed up securely offsite, even in the event of a total loss of premises your data can be available in a different location with minimal fuss. Traditional tape backups although adequate if set up correctly can and do fail recovery is a lengthy process even for a single file. Other technologies such as data replication and remote offsite backup are more efficient, simpler and more reliable.

No two companies are the same; it pays to plan your implementation. A documented project plan can help with your disaster recovery procedures, A project plan allows it to be broken down into more manageable chunks. With proper planning you can avoid some of the pitfalls and ensure nothing in left unaccounted for and will prevent having to go back.

Finally you need to test you DR procedures regularly, there are no end of stories about companies who just assume they are being protected, everything is fine until there is a need to recover?

Disaster recovery planning, data recovery service and online data backup protocols should be in place for every business that has critical business data and systems. Don’t wait until it is to late and disaster has already struck.

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