When you’re asked to associate ‘disaster’ with ‘global pandemic’, half of you will probably think of a virus that’s turning the world’s population into zombies like in Resident Evil or World War Z.
The other half may think of a Planet of the Apes scenario, where most of the global population has died, cities are abandoned, and the apes have risen and taken over.
Thankfully in real life, the number of deaths is not at the level of extinction as depicted by Hollywood. Neither zombies nor apes have taken over. Cities may seem abandoned but are only eerily quiet because everyone’s staying home.
The majority of us may have been thinking of an earthquake, power outage or human error when preparing their disaster recovery plan. I highly doubt anyone accounted for a ‘once in a life time global pandemic lock-down situation’. (If you did, hats off to you!)
However, this does give us a chance to review how effective our plan is in a lock-down situation.
Is your disaster recovery plan readily accessible?
Best practice is to document and write down your plan. A written disaster recovery plan helps you avoid impulsive and rash decisions when we’re in those tough situations. However, it’s no use if it’s printed and sitting in a folder in the client’s office in a level 4 lock-down situation. Ensure you have the latest version in a digital format, somewhere you can access in the event of a lock-down.
Every business will have a different process for recovery, so don’t create one plan and apply it to all your clients. Going through a personalised plan with your client let’s you add value to your services.
Are your backups accessible in a level 4 lock-down situation?
When asking what device a reseller or client uses to hold their backups, USB drives or external hard drives are still a popular answer for many SMBs. They may seem cheap and reliable in the short term, but ultimately these devices fail and may end up costing the end user a lot more.
Having to physically plug in these devices to access data is also a disadvantage in a level 4 lock-down scenario. If you are in lock-down in another town, it may be a hard task to find someone to venture into the client’s office, look for and plug the right USB device (especially if you have USB drives on rotation) and then painstakingly guide them through the next steps over the phone.
Thankfully in this digital age, we have cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions like StorageCraft Cloud Services. StorageCraft Cloud Services replace rotating USB drives with replicating images offsite, to a dedicated data centre. You can recover individual files and folders, and even virtualise machines in the cloud to minimise downtime and get workers online even faster. It’s ideal for when your infrastructure completely fails, or your server replacement part is delayed because the factory that produces the part is closed due to a lock-down. All with no upfront cost to the MSP.
A final tip. Even if you have incorporated a DRaaS solution like StorageCraft Cloud Services into your disaster recovery plan, you still need to review and test your plan every so often. Test to ensure the images aren’t corrupt and you can recover from them. Ensure your plan still meets the RTOs and RPOs set, to prevent serious downtime when you actually have to action the plan(!).
Set a reminder in your calendar for a yearly, or half yearly test. Who knows when or what the next disaster will be! (Touch wood)