With weather related losses in the United States exceeding $11 billion in 2018, it’s easy to see why Disaster Recovery is on the minds of business leaders. Regardless of the threat, if your business does not have a recovery plan, now is the time to set one up.
Just getting started or revising an existing plan, this simple ten-point checklist will help you cover your bases whether you have a Disaster Recovery (DR) plan in house or are shopping for/already use a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) provider.
1. Plan In Advance.
First – Please, do not wait until a disaster is headed your way – start or resurrect your plan today. Once you understand your DR and Business Continuity needs, consider your DR location or the location of the vendors you are considering and make sure they give you the geographic disparity you need.
2. If DRaaS – Choose Wisely.
Disaster Recovery as a Service is a great way to get the service and support you need. Make sure the company you choose has the geographic diversity necessary to weather any storm – we cannot emphasize this enough.
3. Ensure Your Data Center Is Physically Secure.
A good data center should be staffed by security officers 365 days a year allowing only those individuals and equipment authorized to enter. Two forms of authentication should be required to identify authorized individuals and the premises should be monitored by video. A World Class provider like Virtacore is Tier 4 Equinix Data Center. This is one time you really get what you pay for. Once you make the decision to execute on your plan make sure the data center is ready for every eventuality – not just a weather event.
4. Test Your Plan.
In order to make sure that your disaster recovery plan is always up to speed it is essential to test it at least once a year. Some DRaaS companies will provide you with instructions for how to do this and others will complete a test with you. The tests will differ depending on the software you use.
5. Have A Plan.
Your disaster recovery plan needs a plan. In the event of a disaster or disruptive event, procedures and responsibilities need to be clearly defined and in place ahead of time. Once you have the plan, you should consider annual or semi-annual failovers to ensure you are as ready as you can be.
6. Ensure Your Data Center Has World Class Security.
Strictly controlled access to your private cloud environment is a must. Ensure you are working with a company that maintains customer isolation through several distinct levels of control and access.
7. Ensure Your DRaaS Provider Has Established Operational Security.
Operational security involves business processes and procedures that follow security best practices to limit access to systems and confidential information. World Class DRaaS companies like Virtacore establish and track employee controls, provide regular training, and constantly evaluate their team as well as their environment.
8. Ensure Your Provider Is Compliant.
Your company may need certain certifications for disaster recovery to satisfy compliance in your industry. Make sure to work with a provider who has the proper certifications for your business. As an example, accounting firms often need SSAE 16 Type II – SOC 1 and SOC 2 certifications while medical establishments usually need to be HIPAA ready. If your business handles credit cards, you should look for PCI DSS compliance.
9. Verify Data Center Environmental Integrity.
Don’t forget that although data centers are usually located in areas with low probability of a natural disaster it’s still important that your data center is protected against environmental threats. For instance, to protect against a power outage, the data center should have both primary and backup systems including an uninterruptible power supply and generators. The data center should have a robust HVAC system that provides stable airflow, temperature, and humidity; the structure should be built above sea level with flood monitoring and control systems. An added benefit to a using DRaaS offering is redundant connectivity through a variety of providers like Verizon, AT&T, and established local carriers.
10. Use Best In Class Infrastructure.
Your DR plan and DRaaS offerings should be built on best in class hardware and software like Cisco, Veeam, and Zerto. The right architecture will allow you to have server visibility, management, and control in the case of a failover event.
Whether you are setting up your business’s first disaster recovery plan or revising and updating an existing document, use this ten-point checklist to ensure you have all your bases covered when you choose your DRaaS provider.
Best of luck and happy planning!