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4 Things You Should Know About Disaster Recovery Planning
If we learned anything from the recent hurricanes, it’s that having a disaster recovery plan in place and using best practices can save businesses from going under. We have helped countless customers protect their fragile assets and recover their data after a disaster.
Disasters come in many forms, from human error and natural disasters to security breaches. That’s why it’s important to have a plan for each possible scenario. While we understand that disaster recovery planning can be an extremely involved process that’s different for every business, our main purpose for this post is to provide some DR best practices to use with Alike to get the most reliable protection.
Here are 4 things you need to know about disaster recovery planning and best practices with Alike.
1. Use Reliable Hardware
When creating your business continuity plan, the first place to start is to ensure that you have an optimal IT environment. This means using reliable hardware for your Alike server and for your backup storage.
While it may be tempting to recycle old hardware or to save money on backup servers and simply back up everything up to a thumb drive, you will want to use the most reliable hardware that you have available. The last thing you want to deal with during any disaster is a hardware failure with your backup storage.
2. Check the Integrity of Your Backups & Replicas Often
Schedule your backup and replication jobs to run nightly and check the integrity of your backups and replicas often. Detecting and resolving errors early on can prevent data corruption and failures during a real emergency, which is why testing is also important (see item #4 in this list).
Best practices for storage redundancy include storing several backups and replicas in multiple locations. Whenever possible, use separate hardware for on and offsite storage, or send your backups to the cloud using an Amazon S3 account. The main takeaway here is not to store your backups in just one location to eliminate all single points of failure.
3. Secure Your Onsite and Offsite Backups
There are two components to security best practices for disaster recovery planning:
- Physical Security – Make sure that your physical backup servers are in a secured onsite location, such as a server room that is accessible to authorized personnel only. At the same time, the servers in that room should also be physically locked down so that they cannot be removed by anyone other than an authorized employee.
- Digital Security – Use local authentication with unique service accounts and passwords for all of your backup data. If you’re using offsite storage for your backups, make sure the credentials used to access the backups are not the same as the ones used in your production environment. This is especially important for ransomware protection.
4. Test Your Backups Frequently
Make sure your backups are working and free of problems by testing them frequently. Check your logs for error messages, and fix any issues as soon as you find them. And of course, if you have a Quadric Software Maintenance Plan, using Quadric support is the best way to make sure any problems are resolved before disaster strikes.
You will also want to try restoring your data often to make sure you can recover everything. Additionally, the more recovery options you build into your DR plan, the more you will want to try each. Which brings us to the final, and most important point:
Have a Plan and Stick to It
Overall, you should create a disaster recovery plan according to your business continuity needs, update it whenever your systems or environment changes, make sure everyone knows the plan, and practice implementing it regularly. We can’t emphasize this enough.
Because every situation is different, your plan and how you implement it will be on a case by case basis. That’s why it is important to have several recovery options, including full restores, extra servers or “cold spares” with backups that are available for instant recovery, file level restore options, etc.
The good news is that you can do all of that with Alike DR! Try Alike for XenServer, Hyper-V, or Windows physical systems, and start protecting your business from any disaster.