10 Steps to Cloud Disaster Recovery Planning
Many companies now are including cloud disaster recovery process in their business continuity plans. Janco has found that disaster plans that include the cloud, if done well, simplify and improve the success of the recovery process.
Here are 10 things to have on your cloud DR checklist.
- Have multiple providers and validate that the physical location of the providers is significantly different than you primary facilities - That being done, have ways to connect to the provider when your facility is unavailable to your company.
Primary applications that need to work immediately are:
- Web sites
- Rank business application on importance - which ones and how soon they need to be available - DR plan should initially include contingencies only for those applications absolutely needed to keep the company running based on length of the outage.
- Do not depend exclusively on electronic copies of software and data, maintain physical copies of critical applications and software. Do not forget about serial numbers and passwords without them you will not be able to operate.
- Have clear definition and contracts in place before the event which state vendor's DR capabilities and promises. Know what provisions it has for disaster recovery and fail-over - and what the promise times for service restoration are.
- Test all mission-critical applications with vendors - Contracts and DR guarantees are not enough, plan for at least an annual test of the entire DR and fail-over procedure - use the vendor's data center as if it were your own. Validate that your company will not be crowded out by a “more important” customer.
- Utilize the cloud's strengths including on-demand availability for computing, storage, networking, and technical support resources. Pay only for what you use.
- Leverage private cloud and tools with which you can quickly replicate operating systems and applications for purposes of DR and fail-over. Make use of BYOD and at-home-computing.
- Include redundant communications channels - include multiple lines with a mix of data communication topologies to lessen your DR risk. Utilize social media like Twitter to enhance communications.
- Plan cloud DR for separate geographies - most enterprises are in multiple locations and should have cloud data center DR and fail-over strategies that allow for an easy transitions to alternate sites in different geographic locations if a major catastrophe strikes a particular area.
- Have trained personnel and documentation at remote DR/fail-over sites - you want to have access to people who are knowledgeable in your systems at these sites so you can have shorter recovery times and avoid flying people in which will increase costs and recovery times.