Network Disaster Recovery Planning

Hurricane season is well underway with Barry, Dorian and Humberto having already hit and deluged most of the Bahamas and the southern United States, there’s still a total of 22 more predicted storms to hit before November. These storms leave a large wake in their path and enterprises are not exempt. According to the Small Business Administration, 45% of businesses don’t reopen after they experience a disaster.1 A network Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) helps to protect IT infrastructure, ascertain organizational stability and establish systematic disaster recovery.

Whether it be to meet compliance requirements, adhere to customer agreements or to implement best practices, many organizations have a network disaster recovery plan in place.

An IT disaster recovery plan must take into account how to:

  • Detect outages from a disaster as quickly as possible
  • Notify affected parties so action can be taken
  • Isolate affected systems so that damage is contained
  • Repair the critical affected systems so that operations can resume

Types of Plans

There are a variety of disaster recovery plans, each influenced by the systems relied on by an organization.

Virtualization Disaster Recovery

An organization can quickly and easily begin their recovery efforts by placing a virtual server on reserve or in the cloud to reduce the need to recreate an actual server if an issue occurs. Take stock of the virtualization platforms in your environment with the backup and recovery tools used by each. A plan can be created to get virtual workloads back up and running.

Data Center Disaster Recovery

A plan for data center disaster recovery includes IT systems housed in a computing facility. It involves the building itself, utility providers, backup power, security and support personnel. This requires input from IT teams, facilities management and security providers.

Network Disaster Recovery

A disaster can affect servers, applications and services that depend on network connectivity. This type of plan takes into account contacting the proper IT personnel and getting network equipment replacements to get the network back up and running.

The main purpose of a network disaster recovery plan is to ensure services can continue to be delivered despite a disruption through network connectivity. Whatever type of plan you choose to implement for your organization, there must be a solution in place to ensure always-on, secure access.

Disasters come in different forms which makes it difficult to predict what their potential impact could be and how to best address network issues that may arise, however Opengear solutions provide cellular to your critical devices in every situation. Opengear solutions should be the foundation of your plan. Once that is in place and the other necessary considerations are added in, the plan should be documented and tested in advance which will help expedite the process when an actual disaster strikes. The three main components that should be addressed in a recovery plan are data, systems and people.

Creating A Disaster Recovery Plan

To get started with creating a disaster recovery plan to meet the specific needs of your organization there are a few steps to follow.

Complete A Risk Assessment

Create a risk assessment that details the likelihood of a disaster.

Collect Data and Document

Document and collect the information needed to create your plan. This may include taking inventory of servers, network diagrams and floor plans.

Test Your Plan

In general, it’s ill-advised to crank up the heat in a data center or disconnect a critical server, however there are ways to determine if your plan will work. Hands-on technical tests and tabletop simulations are just a few ways to see if your plan will work.

Opengear solutions should be added to every network disaster recovery plan. Smart Out-of-Band and Failover to Cellular ensure that even during a disruption, the network can be accessed. Visit our solutions page to learn more.

1 https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/16/hurricane-watch-40-percent-of-small-businesses-dont-reopen-after-a-disaster.html


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