How Effective is Your Data Center’s Disaster Recovery Plan?
More than likely you’ve invested the resources, time, and cash to ensure that your business is properly insured in the event of a fire, PR disaster, or other unexpected emergency/catastrophe.
When it comes to data centers, it’s important to implement a sound disaster recovery plan as part of that equation. According to recent statistics, data center outages cost companies in the United States a total of $700 billion every year. And the typical data center can expect to lose about $9,000 a minute because of an unplanned data center outage.
Ponemon Institute puts the average total cost of a data center outage at $740,357 — a 38 percent spike within the past five years.
According to the study sponsored by Emerson Network Power, companies suffered losses as a result of business disruption, productivity, lost revenue, IT productivity. The causes ranged from uninterruptible power supply (UPS) failure (25 percent) to cyber crimes (22 percent), weather (10 percent), IT equipment malfunction (4 percent), and generator failure (6 percent).
Planning for disasters
Companies need to factor in numerous scenarios when planning for contingencies related to disruptions caused by specific events —including weather, cyber attacks or other unexpected disasters.
Major considerations to take into account include:
Assess location: Determine any risks related to the location of your data center, including those associated with weather, flooding or other incidents caused by Mother Nature. In addition, make sure that backup data centers are located in areas that are far enough that they would not be at risk for the same weather patterns or natural disasters at the same time.
Check the status of disaster recovery strategies. According to widely acknowledged standards, ISO/IEC 27031, “Strategies should define the approaches to implement the required resilience so that the principles of incident prevention, detection, response, recovery and restoration are put in place.” As outlined, you should be able to quickly point to a plan that specifies what your team will do when responding to an incident.
Employees. Determine which of your staff members are key to your data recovery strategy, including those who should be contacted immediately in the event of an emergency. Also, determine backup employees who can be available if core team members are not available.
Provide back-up workspace. If your main work location has been hit by a disaster, your disaster recovery plan should include accommodations for employees that will need to work at a common facility or at home. The site should include security, compatible equipment, and procedures similar to those used at the company.
Prioritization plans. As with any company, some areas of your operations will require more immediate data recovery attention than others. Determine which areas should be prioritized for getting back online based on your company’s objectives in ensuring that clients receive services.