Creating a DR and Business Continuity Policy
Step No. 2: Creating a DR and business continuity policy
After mission-critical data has been identified, the next step is to create a policy that will focus on the continuous backup of that data and ongoing scheduled operating system images that will prevent disaster. Most SMBs cannot afford a disaster of any kind, so it is vital that they plan accordingly. Your DR and business continuity policy needs to be effective in the following three key areas:
1. Pinpointed restoration of mission-critical data: The mission-critical data needs to be restored quickly, with the most recent changes available. Using a LAN or WAN-based hard drive appliance with a built-in RAID array that offers continuous data protection will create easy restoration points for Exchange, SQL, Active Directory and user file shares.
2. DR for system and service failures: Disk images should be scheduled on a daily or weekly basis that take snapshot views of the critical systems to either a local network-attached storage (NAS) or USB device, which is then taken or replicated to an off-site location.
a. Service restoration
Utilize virtual and redundant systems in the event of a service failure to prevent data loss such as transaction processing on a point of sale (POS) system or inbound e-mail.
b. Hardware failure
To recover from a hardware failure, maintain available parts or relationships with vendors that can supply hardware quickly.
c. System destruction
Use an off-site storage system to prevent localized environmental events from affecting the data backup copies.
3. Proactive remote monitoring system to verify integrity of system: A DR plan is only as good as its last successful restoration. The next step is to monitor and test the system to ensure quick, proactive responses. Monitoring is done continuously to ensure that there are no problems, while testing is performed at regular intervals to ensure the integrity of the system.