What is BDRS?

Backup is like insurance; it’s something we all have to have and once it’s in place we forget about it and think about something more interesting. We tend to forget about dealing with the aftermath if something does go wrong.

Here is a common business scenario:

Your data is backed up to somewhere out there on the Internet. It’s all safe and secure. Then something bad happens and you call your IT provider to ask them to recover your data. That, they tell you, will take about three days. At that moment you think, “I can’t tolerate three days of downtime. That will do huge damage to my business? How will I contact all my customers when their details are on the backup and won’t be restored for three days?”

That is why you need a disaster recovery plan for your business. You need to know what you will do in a crisis, apart from adopting the appearance of a headless chicken.

Much less common but much more severe are the disasters that grab the headlines. One Riverbank client needed their disaster recovery plan when a faulty valve on a gas cylinder led to an explosion that blew the roof off their factory. That caused a crisis not only for them but also for neighbouring businesses that had to be evacuated or simply weren’t allowed back into their building.

IT Disaster recovery planning can need quite a lot of work up front, but the value is that it will increase substantially the chance of your business surviving a negative event. It will also improve your IT security since you know how to put everything back in place if you were hit by something like ransomware.

Starting with the first scenario above, one reason why recovering data can take so long is that there is so much to back up. Maybe it’s time to separate the vital data that you need to get back in hours from the stuff that could wait a week? Maybe it’s time to get rid of the dross that is five years old and you don’t really need at all? Why pay for expensive backup, month after month?

Part of your planning needs to be around how much data you can afford to lose. This might sound strange, but in the event of a disaster, there will be data loss – everything you have done since the last backup will be lost. If your backup runs overnight, you could lose up to one day of data. How would that impact your business? Equally, you might be wasting money by paying for backups every 15 minutes when the data only changes once a week.

Shaping your backup to suit your needs for recovery from a disaster means that the recovery is swifter and smoother, with less stress and a faster return to ‘business as usual’.

How to get started

We start with an initial meeting to talk through your IT strategy, your business needs for recovery and how to balance an ideal solution against budget. That leads to a written plan and can often mean a re-structuring of your backup to ensure it meets your needs for rapid recovery of vital business information.

Disaster recovery also means more than planning. You need to know that your backups are working, that they get tested and that your plan will work if you need it. That needs on-going monitoring and management, turning it from planning into  

Discussions about disaster recovery frequently broaden out to encompass much more than IT. Your IT is central and critical to the functioning of your business, but there are many more impacts if you suffer a disaster. You need to know how to respond if you lost your office or transport disruption meant that people couldn’t get there, how to recover your phone system quickly or how to reconstruct your workshop or laboratory. Riverbank can provide you with guidance on this wider planning. Find out more about how we can help.