A Disaster Recovery Framework for your Business
IT Support in Seattle

How do you know where your organization stands with Disaster Recovery Preparedness? For instance, if you’ve had an extreme power outage, and experienced problems recovering data, this is a good litmus test of your disaster recovery (DR) preparedness. Apex Technology measures 5 different levels of DR readiness, which we will outline and define ahead in this article, so you can better determine where you are, and, subsequently, where you need to be.

The five measurable levels of disaster recovery preparedness are:

Level One: Ad Hoc

In the case of Level One disaster recovery preparedness, next to nothing is being done to bolster or protect the data centers/IT network, causing a scramble to find out how to recover when disaster hits. You may have occasional backup or firewall methods of data recovery here and there, but largely, your IT network is completely vulnerable to cyberattack and being helpless in the event of requiring disaster recovery. We find most organizations are at this level of DR readiness, unfortunately.

Level Two: Reactive

Elements of protection are in place, which may include scheduled local backups, remote copying of data, and possible server fallover methods for business continuity. Whatever disaster recovery plans are in place at this level are disparate, loosely-sketched, and completely reactive, as opposed to being pro-active. This decreases the likelihood of having smooth data recovery in the event of power outage or interruption. There may be backups in place, but if a server crashes, say, then there may be a scramble to reload data from disk or other outside source.

Level Three: Prepared

Your company is in a much better place than one existing at the first two levels. Your organization is prepared with a documented plan in place with clear recovery procedures. DR plan is aligned with business needs, recovery point and recovery time objectives (RPO, RTO), although some last-minute “heroics” may be necessary to deal with any surprises during a disaster recovery operation. Lack of periodic disaster plan or backup solution exercises are also indicative of this level of readiness–prepared, but not taking regular steps to maximize DR preparedness. Changes in server status or configurations without proper backup updates can still spell disaster, or at least, great inconveniences.

Level Four: Pro-Active

A sound recovery plan exists, as described in level three, in addition to having pro-active validation of the plan. Validation performed by testing local recovery procedures and performing periodic disaster drills. Routine exercising of recovery plan drastically minimizes the risk of having a missed recovery time objective. DR plans and objectives are periodically reviewed and re-validated in “living documents” to ensure that plans are consistent with company operations and objectives. Through these periodic reviews of DR plans, businesses can provide assurance that they are and will be ready to use and accurately reflect the true state of recoverable systems.

Level Five: Resilient

You definitely have a solid DR plan in place–as in level four–and is fully integrated with business continuity plans (which are also solidly in place). There is a fully-organized disaster recovery program which provides administrative oversight on all activities associated with DR plan. Preventive measures which minimize potential threats are well-established. Senior management of the organization fully endorses the importance of technology DR planning, and senior managers periodically attend plan exercises as observers. Organization is confident as a whole that virtually any incident can be addressed quickly and successfully, with IT systems returned to normal production levels within RPO and RTO limits.

Is your company disaster recovery maturity framework, then, up to speed? Apex is the trusted choice when it comes to staying ahead of the latest information technology tips, tricks, and news regarding this issue. Contact us at (800) 310-2739 or send us an email at info@apex.com for more information.