In time, every business will be impacted by disaster and downtime. Of these, 93 percent will be out of business within one year, according to a report by telecommunications giant HughesNet.
The sheer chaos that ensued in 2020 in regard to natural disasters, COVID, and other factors have been an awakening for many businesses, who have begun to realize how dependent they are on environmental factors beyond their control.
Bad luck and freak accidents don’t have to be the end of your business. Here’s a quick primer on what you need to know about cost-effective disaster recovery (DR):
Assessing Your Risk is Essential
The first step to any disaster recovery plan is risk identification and assessment. In some cases, this will be easy; if you’re located in the Gulf South, for instance, you know that it’s inevitable that you’ll be impacted by a hurricane.
Other threats may be more discreet. In general, any risk to your business will come in one of three categories:
- Natural threats, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, electrical storms, and floods
- Human threats, either enabled by or caused by people, either internal or externally. This may include hackers trying to infiltrate your business or employees accidentally deleting files.
- Environmental threats, such as liquid leakages and prolonged utility failures.
Natural threats are largely geographic and usually assess. Human threats are more universal, since everyone is susceptible to hackers, even small businesses. What some companies underestimate, though, are the internal threats; a disgruntled employee can wreak havoc on the company server, for instance.
Environmental factors may be more difficult to ascertain without knowledge of the local utility infrastructure and neighboring facilities. If you’re in a shared office building, how can you be sure your neighbor isn’t unsafely storing hazardous materials? Or if the restroom above your data center isn’t going to spring a leak?
Understand Your Cost Factors
Disaster recovery is a form of insurance. And while it won’t make you any money, it can be a competitive advantage if you’re prepared and the others aren’t. Even still, you don’t want to buy any more DR than you need.
How do you know how much DR you need? It depends on several factors, including:
- Bandwidth requirements for achieving continuity
- Any software subscription and licensing fees
- Whether the systems are physical or virtual
- The amount of data
- The number of machines to be backed up and restored
Also, you must consider how urgently a system needs to be restored, and how much past progress it needs to recover. If you need a system such as a website, communications platform, or other application up in very short order after it fails, it will be more expensive to prepare for this contingency. For backups, if you need them in very short order and narrow intervals, it will cost more than those over longer periods.
Understand Two Key Concepts: RTO and RPO
Data backup is a huge part of disaster recovery. But it’s not the only consideration.
How long can your business survive without access to a critical system, such as its website or communications platform? If you can’t do without one particular technology for very long, then your recovery time objective (RTO)—or the measure of how long you can go with a failed system—is very short.
A similar metric, recovery point objective or RPO, measures how long you can go between backups. Some businesses are fine with backups once a week or even once a month. For those businesses, the most important objective is just to not lose its life work. But other firms that are producing high-value work very quickly may find it more cost-effective to have a very short RPO, such as once per day.
Master Your Disaster with Techneaux—Powered by Axcient x360Recover
Disasters are inevitable, but the ensuing crises are avoidable. For more than 10 years, Techneaux has helped businesses survive and thrive through innovative technology deployments and development.
Our disaster recovery services are powered by Axcient x360Recover —a well-established RPO balance both security and flexibility.
With Techneaux and Axcient x360Recover, you can:
- Minimize the impact of downtime
- Maintain compliance
- Gain situational awareness
- Define and maintain roles