DCN June 2017 - Page 48

final thought DISASTER AVERTED Robert Williams, technical director at Custodian Data Centres, highlights the importance of having a disaster recovery plan in place. I n the last seven years there have been several studies surrounding disaster recovery uptake within SMBs globally. These surveys have revealed that around 50 to 60 per cent of small and mid-sized businesses worldwide have no disaster recovery (DR) plan. Of those that ‘do’ at least have a plan, around three quarters of them reported that they have never actually tested it. Within the quarter of those who ‘did’ actually test their plans, at least 25 per cent of them reported that the tests failed and they were unable to recover as expected. No matter which survey you look at, or which statistics you quote - it would seem that the vast majority of SMBs are both underprepared and ill-equipped to deal with a business critical event. The initial challenge for many businesses is to first understand the need and to agree internally that such a requirement cannot be ignored indefinitely. In the US, FEMA (the Federal Emergency 48 | June 2017 Disaster: ‘A sudden accident or a natural catastrophe that causes great damage.’ Recovery: ‘A return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.’ Management Agency) revealed that following a disaster around 25 per cent of businesses fail within one year, and amazingly around 40 per cent of businesses hit by a disaster did not even reopen at all. Despite this, the challenge to design, deploy and (most importantly) test a disaster recovery plan continues to fall to the bottom of many businesses’ ‘to-do’ lists. Similar to the data centre ‘Tier’ rating system, there are also several schemes that are used to measure the level of DR planning and implementation a business has achieved. The most common one uses eight levels and every business will be somewhere on the scale, which goes from Tier 0 (no protection) to Tier 7, the maximum possible protection. A good starting point for any business (whether a plan already exists or not) would be to first establish the current Tier which it is at. This process in itself will spark discussion in areas such as ‘acceptable downtime’ and the ‘regression period’, so how long it will take to recover and how much data (time) will have been lost when the recovery has been completed. All the Tiers from 1 up to 7 require the use of an off site location. Tier 0 has no off site requirement, it is also the only Tier where 100 per cent data loss (with no recovery at all) is highly likely. Selecting the off sit ѥ͡ձЁ)хͥ́ɽɅٕɥ)䁍ɥѕɥՍ́Ʌ)ѥ͕ɥ䰁م䁅)ɕͥQɔ́Ё٥)Hݡɔȁͥє)́ѡѕѥѼݡ)ԁЁѡи)]ɭ͕ݥѠѡH)䁥́ͼ丁ѽɥѡ)م䁽ȁх)Ѡ͕́ȁ%Pѕ)ɥѥѼѡՍ͙հɕݽɱ)嵕Ѐѕѥ)H)]ѡȁͽɍ)ѕɹ䁑ٕȁͥ)͕ٕ́ݕɕ)ѡɽ՝ѕѕHe)ЁЁݸ