How to give your disaster recovery plan a test run

With major floods hitting states across America, including Oregon, Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee, scientists are now predicting there’s plenty more to come over the next five years — putting residents, businesses and other organizations at risk. That’s why experts are increasingly concerned about the need for data centers to put disaster recovery plans in place to minimize disruptions.

How to give your disaster recovery plan a test run“Sea-level rise has already doubled the chances of extreme flooding in locations around the U.S., and that will only accelerate in the coming decades,” said Benjamin Strauss, vice president for climate impacts and director of the Program on Sea Level Rise at Climate Central. By 2020, Strauss said, coastal areas in states like Florida and Louisiana could be significantly affected by the sea-level rise.

More than likely, you already have a disaster recovery (DR) strategy in place. However, that process does not end with making sure you have an effective plan to protect your company against significant loss. It also includes developing steps to test, review and make adjustments, if necessary, to ensure that you’re not at risk for overlooking flaws in the DR plan.

Here are 5 crucial steps to make sure that your operations can successfully recover in the event of flooding or other critical event.

  1. Appoint employees to a planning committee. Designate employees and key managers to be part of a DR planning committee that review and update your DR strategy. Make sure you have a team that represents different areas of your organization so that their unique needs are addressed.
  2. Perform a risk assessment. One of the top priorities of the planning committee is to conduct a risk assessment that cover a variety of scenarios, including the inability to assess data or to communicate with one another. Be exhaustive in determining the risks — as well as determining the costs with each scenario.
  3. Prioritize functions. Obviously, not all functions are created equal. Determine which departments and department functions should be prioritized for recovery after a disruption. Rank them in order of importance and include that in your recovery plan.
  4. Assess your backup plans. One of the key components of a disaster recovery plan is developing backup resources. Many companies choose to build a backup plan through a third party to avoid the expense of building out the facility or purchasing the equipment themselves.
  5. Test and test again. With your DR plan finalized, it’s important to regularly test and review it for areas that may need updating. Also, make sure that you keep a printed copy in a safe area outside of your facility that you can reach in the case of a disruption.

With DR planning and regular testing, you can significantly minimize your risks during a disaster or critical event. Lifeline Data Centers, a wholesale colocation company, can provide the additional resources you need to more quickly resume your operations in the event of a disaster. Find out more about our state-of-the-art facilities by taking a virtual tour.

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Rich Banta

Rich Banta

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Rich is responsible for Compliance and Certifications, Data Center Operations, Information Technology, and Client Concierge Services. Rich has an extensive background in server and network management, large scale wide-area networks, storage, business continuity, and monitoring. Rich is a former CTO of a major health care system. Rich is hands-on every day in the data centers. He also holds many certifications, including: CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor CRISC – Certified in Risk & Information Systems Management CDCE – Certified Data Center Expert CDCDP – Certified Data Center Design Professional
Rich Banta