Technology disaster recovery is key to protect your computer network and data if the worst occurs. What will you do if your building unfortunately results in a fire, explosion, electrical or other major disaster? Further, how can you prevent your own potential disaster? Whether you are part of a company network, small office network, or home network, you should be mindful of disaster recovery and how it may affect your computer network. You need to ask yourself if your building is gone tomorrow, Will you be able to access your files? Will you be able to resume operations promptly afterwards?
Here’s a 4-step plan for technology disaster recovery:
- Prevent the disaster. Disaster recovery is not just preventing disasters from uncontrollable natural disasters. They are also being able to purchase stable equipment, such as servers or desktops that will not fail easily. Your initial investment of a server should not be refurbished or bought as a deal. If you have a server, ensure it has a RAID or mirroring capability so that it one hard drive fails, your operating system or operations will continue running. Whether a small or large network, you should always ensure you have redundancy: your file backup should have a second backup, i.e. external hard drive, in case the first fails. So, this #1 step ensures that your IT operations continue within your office even if one device fails. One device should not determine the viability for the rest of the network.
- Keep your network simple. Consolidate devices and backups. Make sure all of the computer users have one network drive to back up to. Ensure the backups are limited to a few backup jobs. If there are lots of older, outdated, hubs, consolidate them to a few network switches. Test your backups. This will all ensure more efficiency with your network as well as allow for quick resolution if there is a break in the network.
- Keep back-up devices on hand. Some first-time customers call us when one of their specialized Cisco firewalls goes down. Then, the rest of their network is down since Cisco firewalls are not the type of commodity that is bought at Staples. It is recommended to keep back-ups of such hard-to-find devices on hand. Even if they’re not hard to find, you should have your IT network rep have your routers, switches and other devices already pre-configured so that they may be installed quickly if the primary device fails.
- Online/Off-site file backup is key. If your building is gone tomorrow, you’ll need to have access to your files. You should invest in an online file backup for your office or home. You configure which files need to be backed up, and that’s it – it will then incrementally back up any additional changes in the future and you’ll have peace of mind. For companies with lots of data, tape backups or external hard drives should be taken offsite once a week to ensure files may be accessed quickly if disaster strikes. Keep in mind that online backups are a good method, but they take a lot of time to restore when needed.
The challenging part arises for the operations of your company. How will users access e-mails and continue business operations if relocating is necessary. That should be explored, but could be expensive in regarding a backup plan since strategy alone will not prove to be an effective solution. A company would have to implement a secondary location if one is not in place so at least mentally planning for one is better than not looking into this aspect at all.