Are you testing your backup and recovery process?

Can your servers boot from backups?

Have you defined your recovery time objective (RTO)?

When disaster strikes, an actionable data recovery plan is often the key to ensuring business continuity and survivability. So if you want to mitigate the adverse consequences of unexpected disruptions in your IT infrastructure, these are among the most fundamental questions you need to answer. Additionally, these questions are now commonly seen as part of cybersecurity insurance questions, so documenting them can facilitate your insurance processes. Below, we explore them and more:

  • Testing: Once you have established a backup process, it must be thoroughly tested. However, this does not mean relying solely on the email notifying you of a successful backup; you need to test your recovery process as well, and on multiple levels, i.e., files, volumes, databases, etc. Doing so will ensure processes are both predictable and reliable.
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO): Next, you’ll need to define a recovery time objective. Your RTO will depend on a few factors, such as the size of your data, your maximum tolerable downtime, and whether you have a local backup. Having a local backup can help recovery time, but if you expect a 5-minute recovery while possessing multiple terabytes of data, that’s a problem. So ensure your RTO reasonably accommodates your unique business parameters.
  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Backup Frequency: Let’s say you back up your data every two hours. In the event of an incident, are you fine with losing up to two hours’ worth of data? If not, you may have to reduce your backup intervals to every 30 minutes, but bear in mind that this will drive up your costs.
  • Data Retention: You’ll also need to determine how long you need to retain your backups. A lot of AEC firms need to keep seven years of data storage for legal purposes. How much data retention do you need? The longer you hold your data, the more storage and servers you’ll need. You may even have to invest in more robust and dedicated storage hardware, like NAS drives.
  • Cloud Recovery: Finally, imagine a tornado has wrecked your data center, leaving you with a concrete slab. How quickly would your server have to be recovered from the cloud? Have you identified the need for cloud backups at all?

Remember, your costs will vary substantially based on these decisions, so be sure to test all relevant parameters to determine realistic backup objectives. If this sounds overwhelming, let us help you set up an approachable plan that works for your business. We can walk you through it step by step.

Don’t let your data’s vulnerability keep you up at night. Call us at 615-843-5001 and schedule your 15-minute discovery call today.