No matter the reason, IT downtime can be costly for businesses of any size, in any industry – but it’s especially damaging for data centers. That’s why it’s important to establish a business continuity plan in the event of ransomware, severe weather, or any other unexpected outage.
Today, we’re going to discuss 12 important steps that data centers must take when establishing a business continuity plan, as detailed in Mission Critical Magazine.
1. Get the Conversation Started
Discuss business continuity with the companies and IT professionals that rely on your data center, asking what systems are the most critical to maintain during an outage.
2. Conduct a Hardware Risk Analysis
Create a specific list of the hardware that needs to be protected in the event of an outage, including the original cost and current replacement cost. Rank the importance of each piece of equipment based on how important it would be to keep it up and running during an outage.
3. Diagram the Network Structure
Here, you’re trying to determine how to replicate the network by identifying network switches, cables, routers and other components. Make a list of backups as well.
4. Divide Assets into Two Performance Cycles
By splitting assets into “business critical” and “temporary downtime” categories, you’ll be able to focus on the most important aspects of continuity and recovery.
5. Discuss Disaster Recovery Time Limits
Create a list of potential disaster types and assign approximate response times for each step of recovery, based on the specifics of that disaster.
6. Create a Contact List
When disaster strikes, it’s essential to have all necessary contact information available immediately.
7. Back Up Everything
Back up the server, back up applications, back up data. Back up everything.
8. Make a Plan for Temporary Offsite Networks
If main places of business need to be restored, have a plan for working out of temporary, offsite facilities, both in and out of state. Don’t forget to plan for transportation of both personnel and hardware.
9. Redirect Telecommunication
Because it may take time to get those temporary locations set up, create a system to divert calls to a different location. A third-party provider may be a good option here.
Add extra agility and resiliency by virtualizing the IT environment. This allows for complete automation at the virtual machine level.
11. Invest in Power Management Software
Power management software can be a powerful tool – it moves data to safer locations without any interruption to users, and can even trigger a recovery platform.
12. Use a Network Monitoring Tool
By monitoring networks and watching for the first signs of an outage or threat, you can significantly minimize downtime and negative effects.
If you need to create a business continuity plan and you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with the hybrid IT experts at Vaultas today. We create custom disaster recovery and business continuity plans, ensuring that your business is prepared for any outage that may occur.