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How to Select the Right Disaster Recovery Facility

By CIOReview | Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Whether small or large, business continuity remains the highest priority for all organizations. Businesses necessitate an ample and seamless IT infrastructure to ensure that operations run smoothly even during an incident. Budget crunched organizations become more vulnerable, with improper selection of recovery strategies. Though the IT world is moving towards Hybrid Cloud and Disaster Recovery techniques, there are organizations which have not adopted these modern platforms. According to a ComputerWeekly survey, about 62 percent of responding companies are using cloud technologies now, are about to use them, or are evaluating them.

Recently, some of the prominent Cloud and Managed Service providers announced their tie-in with Microsoft, offering Microsoft Azure as a disaster recovery platform for their customers.  This new Azure link is intended to enable enterprise-sized disaster recovery solutions to utilize the cloud’s advantages as well. 

Disaster Recovery Plan

As the initial step of the disaster recovery plan, analyze the requirements of the current facility and how much data loss and recovery time can the organization withstand during a disaster. Based on the size and needs of the business, you need to conclude on the type of disaster recovery facility to bring into play. Consider the distance from current location, bandwidth, and facility to deal with load increase, security, and management of the facility. After an efficient report study and decision making, adopt the following techniques for a cost efficient disaster recovery facility.

Disaster recovery not only has technological expenses but also includes relocation, equipment, and downtime expenses as well. SMBs should have an inventory of all current assets for insurance and any contingency assets needed for DR budgeting.

Selecting a Disaster Recovery Facility

Choosing the optimum and precise Disaster Recovery facility location remains the key to fast and efficient revival, especially for the SMB’s. In-house disaster recovery facilities are more likely to fail than outsourced disaster recovery services during an incident as outsourced facilities generally offer better safety, security, and redundancy as well.

While selecting, prefer a facility that is capable enough to keep running with minimal down time and low operating resources. An optimal environment has reduced risk of natural disasters, and offers a rich technology pool. Be sure to stay away from coastal regions as these places are more vulnerable to hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires. Keeping away from high-profile metro areas are always a better option because of the threat of terrorism. Additional expenses like taxes and tariffs from local governments and utilities are also to be considered while selecting a site.

Reliability of the infrastructure is another important aspect to be considered while choosing a disaster recovery facility, since it reduces the chances of failures while improving redundancy.  The electrical as well as mechanical systems of the facility have to be developed with multi level redundancy to maintain minimal data loss during incidents. For example, most of the emergency facilities will be equipped with multiple power options like dual generators to ensure power backup. Electricity being one of the most important aspects of every business, make sure that the facility has multiple power backup options. Not only electricity, redundancy of network utilities, hardware devices and every other necessity, even water has to be ensured.

After all the infrastructure and network related planning, security of the facility is also equally important. As a recovery facility is used probably during incidents, these facilities should have foolproof security to protect from both natural and manmade disasters as well as cyber attacks. Physical security like outer fences, guards, video surveillance, and logical security measures including antivirus and intruder detection systems have to be implemented in the recovery facility. Internal security measures can also include multiple layers of authentication like biometric systems to control access to the data center.

An ideal facility will always support the organization’s progress line, allowing easy relocation, management, and seamless growth. While choosing a facility, always review the overall design and the provider's track record, also consider the short- and long-term growth potential, and review the facility’s ability to accommodate these needs.