Winter is Coming: Prepare with Cloud-Based BCDR
If you are fan of the hit series ‘Game of Thrones,’ you are familiar with the phrase, “winter is coming,” a PSA to prepare the fictional population from the advances of the destructive “White Walkers.” And although the series isn’t set to return until this summer, if you live in New England, winter’s advances carry a similar, predatory tone. From sealing doors and windows to stocking up on ice melt and breaking out the hats and gloves—preparing for winter weather is a necessary process.
The same care that goes into your personal winter planning, must be applied to your organisation’s Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan. Business resiliency is an all-encompassing concept that must address everything from basic business continuity to high-level risk management, security and more. Regardless of the predicted forecast for this year’s winter season, being prepared for inclement weather is always better than being left out in the cold.
A breakdown of mission critical systems is inevitable in a technology driven world and outside factors that may cause disturbances, like weather, are uncontrollable. It is critical for organisations to approach BCDR as a proactive vs. reactive discipline. As you begin to prepare for the snow banks and frosted windshields, take a minute to run your business resiliency plan through a thorough review process.
- Plan, and then plan again: To ensure any BCDR plan is intact it’s critical to make regular updates to you overall plan as regulations change and care models shift. What’s more, BCDR strategies need to be reworked each time there is a change in IT structure. As such, BCDR is a continuous process that requires regular reviews and updates.
- Start with hosting: Your business resilience strategy should feature a hosting partner that can act as the second location of your IT operations. The hosting partner should be able to support your complete range of platforms and operating systems and provide all important capabilities, such as redundancy and failover architectures, backup networks and more.
- Audit applications: Examine your applications thoroughly. Are they enabled to take full advantage of business resilience requirements? If not, what scope of work is required to re-architect them to do so? By auditing your applications, you can safeguard against a “break in the chain” that could weaken your overall IT operations in the event of a disturbance.
- Benchmark technology: It’s prudent to undertake complete testing of your infrastructure and processes. How long does it really take to recover from a disaster? For example, do the servers and storage devices respond quickly? What hurdles do you encounter—and what steps do you need to take to eliminate them? By determining baseline performance, you can better track and monitor any changes in overall operations.
- Partner with experts: Make sure you work with experts in SQL databases, Oracle applications, Windows and Linux operating systems, network protocols, networked storage architectures and virtual desktops. When the pressure’s on, you want smart options and insights and it’s important to work with a team that has both breadth and depth of knowledge in these areas.
While the cold winds and mounting snow may leave you shoveling the driveway and avoiding icy roads, you can rest assured that your organisation will operate “business as usual” with a BCDR plan in place. While the weather increases the risk of interruption, preparation is the key to mitigating any negative impact on the enterprise.
Embarking on a cloud-based BCDR strategy? Download this white paper, The Technical Foundations of Business Resilience, to understand the technical foundations that need to be in place.
This post originally appeared in Mission Critical Magazine on November 11, 2016.