How To Design A Disaster Recovery Plan

IT is a rapidly growing industry and no more an exception to risks than any other industry. All businesses use information technology to quickly and effectively process information. I am sure you use computers at your organization, do you have a plan in place about what to do if disaster strikes? After Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, you should start thinking about having a solid disaster recovery plan in place.

According to an article by Gazzette.com, 40% of SMEs go out of business after a major disaster and 75% do not have a disaster recovery plan. Out of those that have a disaster recovery plan, 50% have plans in place that are ineffective. While the data collected in the survey was not exclusive to IT companies, it can be safely said that the situation in the technology sector is not any better when it comes to having disaster recovery plans.

To avoid such circumstances, planning a disaster recovery strategy is necessary. Businesses that pay importance to disaster recovery are always looking for certified disaster recovery engineers to work with them to create an unfailing disaster recovery and business continuity plan, and then implement it.

What is Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)?

A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is a part of Business Continuity Plan that includes documented, structured approach with instructions for responding to unplanned event that can potentially disrupt the operational processes of a business IT infrastructure. An effectual DRP can meritoriously minimize downtime and data loss, saving the business from shutting down permanently due to natural disasters like earthquake and tornado, or a manual/technical disaster like cyber-attack, political unrest, etc.

Business Continuity Plan

A business continuity plan is a strategy that is designed carefully through the identification of potential threats and risks for a company. It is to ensure that application and data crucial to the processing of the company are protected and recovered in the event of a disaster.

Disaster recovery professionals must initiate their information technology disaster recovery plan in concurrence with the business continuity plan. Priorities and recovery time objectives for information technology should be developed during the business impact analysis. Technology recovery strategies should be developed to restore hardware, applications, and data in time to meet the needs of the business recovery.

Such strategical DRP will be able to ensure that during unfavorable incident, where all or part of its operations and/or computer services is rendered unusable, it will protect the organization.

Systematic Procedure for Designing an Effective DRP

Most businesses are run by complex IT systems, which in return require several components to run efficiently. These components include hardware, software, data, and connectivity. When even a single component goes missing in the system, it can render the other components ineffective. Hence, a well-organized recovery strategy should be developed to anticipate the loss of components, so that it is easier to recover the system after a disaster.

Depending on your recovery goal, designing a DRP can include the following steps:

Evaluate Business Activities

  • 1. Identification of crucial business processes
  • 2. Label dependencies
  • 3. List applications vital to the company
  • 4. Access current data recovery and investigate is weakness

Determine Recovery Time Requirements

  • 1. Perform a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
  • 2. Outline Recovery Point Objectives (RPO)
  • 3. Distinguish Recovery Time Objectives (RTO)
  • 4. Designate Maximum Tolerable Downtime (MTD)

Assess Hypothesis

  • 1. Examine risks, create a risk/impact chart to record risks, and rank their priority
  • 2. Test the theory by performing a technology gap analysis of your current v/s desired RPOs, RTOs and MTD
  • 3. Redesign accordingly
  • 4. Implement new solutions

The Disaster Recovery Plan is becoming an increasingly critical part of maintaining business integrity. As the complexity of their business operations grows, enterprises continue to rely more on protecting their IT environments to alleviate the effects of a disaster. This has led to an increase in the demand of disaster recovery professionals who are certified under disaster recovery training in order to keep business operations running in the event of a disaster.

This has not only made Business Continuity Management certification essential, but has also augmented its financial benefits. According to Indeed.com, the salary for a disaster recovery engineer ranges from approximately $98,403 per year for Operations Engineer to $113,080 per year for Database Engineer.

Where To Find Professional IT Guidance?

QuickStart offers disaster recovery training courses that cover everything that is essential for becoming a certified disaster recovery engineer. The apprentices are taught about business impact analysis, risk analysis, BDP strategies, IT recovery strategies, implementation phase, testing and exercise, maintenance and updating, execution phase, cyber-attacks, and pandemics.

About The Author
Dennis
Enterprise Account Manager at QuickStart

Dennis Tello

Dennis is a passionate individual with eight years of experience in the industry. He loves working with organizations large and small, helping them train their technology teams. He specializes in DevOps training and has helped a number of organizations turn their IT teams into game-changers.