Assessing Problems and the Impact
Have you been tasked with designing or improving your current disaster recovery plan? It can be a daunting task comprised of so many moving parts that it can be difficult to know where to start. The purpose of this blog series is to help you organize your thoughts and outline the steps needed to create, or revise, your disaster recovery strategy.
First, you need to take a look at your vulnerabilities. What hardware, software and applications, if interrupted, will result in a negative impact on your business? What events (natural disasters, employee misconduct, hardware failure) are you vulnerable to and what is the likelihood of it occurring? Once these potential problems have been identified and the potential impact is clearly defined, you can then move on to start defining your recovery goals within your environment.
Think of your car at home. I’m in the habit of setting aside extra cash for potential problems with my car. The hope is that it will help offset sudden costs or inconveniences. However, the impact and my reaction will vary greatly if I experience a flat tire versus my transmission going out. If my tire blows out, I can quickly change it and get it fixed with minimal impact to my needs, such as driving to work, picking up my daughter, or grabbing necessities at the grocery store. If the transmission were to give way, that would create a much longer ‘recovery’ time as well as a higher cost. Therefore, I prepare for the worst and have my car regularly checked out to ensure I don’t experience any major disruptions to my lifestyle.
Your IT environment is similar to your vehicle. Maintain, test and make sure to set proper ‘recovery’ expectations in order to keep functionality and availability high. The first step is to assess where the potential problems may exist and identify how they could impact your organization. When you have all that figured out you can start to define a plan on how to mitigate them.
In my next post, we’ll take a look at how to effectively establish proper recovery goals, which will narrow down technology sets and allow you to identify the right tool for the job. All are important components to a disaster recovery plan. You can check it out here!