How to Protect Your Data from Disaster With a Great Disaster Recovery Plan

A fire, storm or flood can immobilize a business, especially when servers and other IT equipment are vulnerable to damage. The best way to protect your data and essential equipment is to perform a disaster recovery risk assessment, which can guide you in determining the types of disasters that could hit your business, the solutions that may be required, and the overall expenses you’ll need to recover. As part of your disaster recovery (DR) plan, it’s also important to consider backup contingencies, commonly called redundancies, for your essential IT infrastructure.

Following are some issues to consider as you assess risks and craft your disaster recovery plan.

1. Smart storage

How to Protect Your Data from Disaster With a Great Disaster Recovery PlanAfter Superstorm Sandy in 2012, several businesses in New York realized that basements aren't ideal locations for servers. Floodwater poured into the basements of several office buildings, disabling servers along with diesel fuel pumps needed to power back-up generators. As a result of the storm, data center representatives started to re-examine the scope of their disaster plans, taking into account more severe storms as potential risks.

Don’t wait until the next disaster to assess whether your servers are stored in a secure environment. If they’re stored in a basement, for example, research the feasibility of moving them to ground level or higher. If that’s not possible, consider moving your server to a safer offsite location. Also, consider hiring a professional consultant to help you make the right choice.

2. Basic operations

Where will your employees work if a disaster destroys your office building, or you lose power for a prolonged time? After a weather-related disaster, road conditions and other hazards may mean working remotely is the only option. But if it’s safe for employees to travel, having a disaster recovery hot site – with servers, laptops and office space – can allow you to keep your business up and running. A cold site, one that offers only office space, can be a viable alternative if you’re able to effectively install the equipment you need to resume operations. It may be a less expensive option overall, especially in the event of an extended outage.

3. Communications

Your disaster recovery plan should include a communications plan, outlining which employees will contact other employees during an emergency. Make sure everyone has a physical copy of this list, as you may be unable to access information stored on your server. Phone service might be sporadic or unavailable during an emergency, but employees will at least know where to meet up if you've established your disaster recovery hot site.

If you’re considering a hot site or just need a better location for your data center, contact the team at Lifeline Data Centers for guidance or schedule a tour with us today:

Schedule a Tour

Other resources:

  • All You Need to Know About Tier Classification, read more
  • Standards for the Telecommunication Industry: TIA-942 vs. the Uptime Institute Tiers, read more
  • Why Data Centers are Necessary for Enterprise Businesses, read more
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