True Disaster Recovery Takes Thought

True Disaster Recovery Takes Thought

October 11

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about…well, thinking.

It started a few weeks ago when I was asked to talk to a group of neighborhood cub scouts about communication. I’m aware that the topic of communication can get a little deep (read: boring), so I came up with some simple tips for effective communication. One of them was thinking. I know, it sounds obvious, but actually thinking about what you’re communicating and how you plan on communicating it is an important step that many people seem to forget (this is an election year, after all).

At the same time, I just finished reading this book by Steven Pinker about the decline in violence over the course of human history. It’s a pretty incredible read with a lot of compelling arguments and research, but his coup de grâce is that we as humans have become more rational over time (or in other words, more capable of abstract thought). We are better equipped to examine our surroundings and consider them objectively, and thus more capable of thinking about the consequences of our actions as they relate to other people (and thus, less violence).

As I said before, it may be obvious, but thinking is important in all facets of our lives. Your disaster recovery plan is no exception. We can talk till we’re blue in the face about technology, about disk vs. tape or file and folder vs. volume-based, but if we’re not actually thinking about our businesses today, about the consequences of a disaster tomorrow, and about the strategies and tactics that will help us circumvent those consequences in the future, then we may as well not be talking at all.

We just released a new white paper called “How to Prepare for Disaster,” which takes a step back from the technology and looks at how we can think about our businesses better in order to make a better disaster recovery plan. It draws on the experiences of three of our partners, each of whom has intimate experience with disaster.

John Motazedi from SNC Squared, for example, led his business through the terror of the 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado, the costliest tornado in history. His building was completely wiped out, but because he had a plan in place, he was up and running in five hours. More impressive is the fact that SNC Squared, which is a managed service provider, restored 100% of their clients’ data within 72 business hours. Now that’s what I call having a plan.

Of course, not all disasters are so spectacular, and you’re more likely to experience a hardware failure than you are a hurricane. Both are on the table for Teresa Bell, however, who runs Citrus Networking Solutions Group in western Florida. Teresa and Co. offer incredible disaster recovery services to their customers, but that doesn’t make them immune. When a critical hard drive failed, Teresa and her team knew just what to do. They were up and running the next day.

Joe Hillis has a different perspective. As the operations director for the Information Technology Disaster Recovery Center (ITDRC), he cleans up after disasters every day. The ITDRC is a wonderful volunteer service that swoops in to help during disasters (including the one in Joplin), but Joe is always surprised how little disaster recovery thinking takes place beforehand. Instead of confident, recovering businesses, he’s often greeted by a dazed “I don’t know what I need to do.”

Check out the paper and let us know your own thoughts and experiences on planning. We all have a lot going, but if we expect to be able to recover from a disaster (or even better, weather it without downtime at all), it’s time to take the time to think about it.

This article originally appeared on the StorageCraft Guest Blog on MSPMentor.