The Depths of Your Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster Recovery Plan shown on a dart board next to a laptop

Disaster Recovery Plan is key to your business success.

Data disaster recovery is something that every business should be prepared for. Even if your company is never attacked by a hacker or has to face a ransomware system-wipe, it’s important to have a plan in case of pure technical failures and mistakes.¬† You, at the very least, want version backed up version control for your central systems so that a new employee can’t lose a client’s information by accidentally zeroing the values. The ability to retrieve active data from a day or a week ago is undeniably useful. Of course, backing up your CRM and financial data on a weekly basis is only scratching the surface your disaster recovery depth potential. In an ideal recovery, you would be able to completely factory-reset every computer and device on the company network and reinstall your infrastructure, programs, and data all from a single comprehensive backup kept on the cloud so that local disasters can’t reach it.

Of course, the most practical way to store your backups is based on how frequently they’ll need to be updated or accessed. Things like your operating systems, system configurations, and program installations will only need to be changed when your IT team changes the infrastructure. Then there are big databases including things like client information and inventory that will be accessed and updated all the time. These should have at least recent version control recovery available along with a few periodic older backups. Finally, there are the items you want incredibly tight control over and track every single change along with who made it.

Surface Changes

Active projects, customer service conversation, and anything having to do with money needs to be tracked much more closely than normal backup procedures account for. This is where finely tuned version control comes in. Whether it’s for security or simple collaborative convenience, the most surface-level form of backup are fast-paced¬†changes, sometimes hundreds a day, and often it’s as important to know who made a change as the change itself. These detailed ‘saves’ of your data can be finalized at, say, midnight every night and archived after a week or two.

Document Management Software

While it’s true that digital documents like forms and contracts are technically data, there is a functional difference between your business data and your online documents. For these, you want a high-quality document management system or DMS for short. While your best bet is a system made specifically for the needs of your industry, Google Docs is a good example of a basic DMS. More specialized versions will have faster and more convenient mobile and online access, sorting, permissions, and even digital signature authorization for quick and easy approvals between clients and business partners.

Database Backups

The most standard form of backup is the sort that is taken on schedule, archived on schedule, and almost never thought about. For most people, this is their favorite kind of backup because it can take care of itself with a simple automated program directed at the files you want saved. The easiest thing to back up are databases like the sort that hold customer login data, account information, sales histories, department budget reports, and so on. With an easy to set up backup system, you can allow each authorized employee to designate the files they’d like backed up regularly every night, week, or month.

The purpose of these backups is the core of your restoration plan. In theory, as long as you have your databases and active files backed up, you will be able to restore your business data infrastructure from a complete reinstall of all your enterprise management software on new or factory reset computers with a minimal amount of lost data.

The Deep Infrastructure Backup

Every time you think you have a complete recovery backup plan, remember that technology and achievement rely on innovation. Ask yourself how it could be better, how recovery could be faster, and how you can ensure that no data is lost or damaged in the recovery. One important answer to this question is an infrastructure backup. Normal backups assume that you may have to reinstall your operating system and programs but that’s okay, right? After all, these should all be readily available to you. The problems is if you had special configuration settings to make your settings or automations run correctly, these are harder to get back into place in a timely manner and there’s a possibility your IT team doesn’t have notes on all the changes that will need to be made.

A neat trick to ensure that your recovery is fast and efficient is to do a periodic deep backup of any system that has custom settings or that you want to be brought back online quickly in order to get your employees back in the saddle even before the full recovery is complete. Besides your central systems and network setup, if you have large sets of computers that all run the same setup like customer service workstations, you can take a single backup and restore all the endpoints from there. Just make sure you update your deep backups every time the infrastructure or configurations change.

Recovering After a Disaster

The best thing about having a truly comprehensive backup and recovery plan is that you can theoretically recover every important system in the company quick enough to get your employees back online and your business humming again within hours of a disaster or setup afterward. Ransomware, for instance, that infects your entire network can be effectively eradicated with a full factory reset and a reinstall from the deep backup to the databases right up to the most recent surface changes. For more advice and news on backups and recovery, contact us today!

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