Disaster recovery is necessary as a means to maintain business continuity in the face of catastrophe. However, the planning process can be difficult, full of pitfalls, and time-consuming even when done correctly. Many organizations still neglect to fully invest in disaster recovery due to the resources, funding, and amount of time required to implement a solution, despite the fact that the consequences of a disaster can outweigh their investment. To mitigate the stress of this process, we’ve compiled a list of common disaster recovery mistakes to be aware of when planning.
Lack of Data Redundancy
When your data is at stake, having a reliable way to recover it and maintain business continuity in the event of a disaster is essential. Implementing data redundancy is a way to accomplish this goal. With this strategy, you would keep multiple copies of your data stored in different environments; online and offline. This way, if you experience data loss or a network failure, you’ll be able to restore what was lost from another data storage location.
A common method that organizations use is a 3-2-1 backup strategy. This strategy entails keeping (at least) 3 copies of your data, keeping the data backups in 2 different environments, and keeping 1 copy of the data offsite. In doing this, you have multiple backups in multiple locations and environments, increasing your ability to recover lost data.
Mismanaging Data and Infrastructure
Those new to recovery planning can often unintentionally ignore the initial causes of disaster; namely a lack of management of infrastructure and data. Without proper data management, costs will increase during the planning process. If management isn’t aware of which data is important, then all data will be protected using costly methods. Additionally, if infrastructure monitoring and reporting capabilities cannot be implemented, you won’t be able to proactively respond to impending failures in equipment, which makes disaster harder to prevent. These issues can be mitigated through the deployment of data classification and resource management tools.
Poor Reporting Practices
Some businesses do not report cyber attacks out of fear of bad publicity, some are unaware the attacks have occurred, and some are unsure of how to report them properly. But neglecting to report a cyber attack can result in adverse effects on your business in terms of profit, and customer retention. Though this is one of many common disaster recovery mistakes, notifying your customers if their data is affected, as well as the proper agencies can get you ahead of the problem, while establishing and maintaining credibility for your organization.
Confusing Disaster Recovery with High Availability
Though high availability technology is being continuously improved, it cannot replace a disaster recovery plan. While high availability has always been an alternative for achieving recovery after a disaster, these strategies are often limited by budget. This is due to the fact that high availability is usually more expensive than other options, and also impractical for data and workloads that are not required to be continuously available. Many companies typically only need 10% of their workloads to be available at all times.
Subpar Recovery Capabilities
When using a cloud backup, be aware of what is included in it, as this will have an impact on the recovery process. If you are part of an enterprise organization, using simple cloud storage can cause recovery issues. Instead, an enterprise organization should consider making use of a cloud or Disaster Recovery as a Service provider. Taking this approach, the provider will manage your data and virtualize it, reducing potential downtime and allowing you to put your energy into other aspects of your organization.
Everything Doesn’t Need to be Backed Up
Though backing up your data is important, it’s not necessary to back up all of it. In truth, a large portion of your data is likely non-changing and can be transferred from production storage to an archive platform. Another group of your data can also probably be eliminated altogether. The remaining data does need to be backed up or replicated frequently in order to capture day-to-day changes. By only backing up what is truly necessary and segregating archive data from production data, you can cut costs on protection and reduce recovery times.
The point of all of this is not to overwhelm you, but instead, open your eyes to the realities of disaster recovery mistakes that could potentially happen. With the vital knowledge you need to adequately prepare, your recovery plan will be comprehensive and well thought out, rather than full of missteps. Consider this information when you start planning for disaster as an approach to create the best plan possible.
Looking for more information on Disaster Recovery as a Service solutions? Consider downloading our Disaster Recovery as a Service Buyer’s Guide! This free resource gives you the ability to compare the top 16 products available on the market with full page vendor profiles. The guide also offers five questions to ask yourself and five questions to ask your software provider before purchasing. It’s the best resource for anyone looking to find the right backup and disaster recovery solution for their organization.
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