Mission-Critical Data Recovery: What You Need to Know and Do

By Michael Wight

If you are not planning on a course of action for losing mission-critical data due to a man-made disaster, or an act of God, what you have is a plan for failure, and possible loss of your livelihood. When a disaster happens, those who are in management positions who are not IT-savvy will most often go with the disaster recovery plan they can put in effect in the fastest manner – and that is seldom the right course of action. Plan ahead and be ready if the unthinkable happens.

There is no one correct plan of action in these situations, but there are things you can do ahead of time to protect your data – and your business.

  • Do a complete data assessment

You must know exactly where your high-value files are, what departments use them, and what medium they are stored on. You should also know what data is not critical as well.

  • Work with a partner that you trust

In most businesses, the IT department, if one exists, lacks the expertise needed to disaster-proof your data, and forge a good plan for recovery. One affordable solution you may want to consider is remotely managed storage services. Cloud storage services that are designed for disaster recovery are also a more viable option now than they have ever been.

  • Know how fast you want to recover and know what the right storage media is for you

While having your data off-site is an inexpensive choice when compared with others, it may cost you if you need a fast recovery from a disaster. A business must know the timetable for restoration of data to avoid loss of revenue. This will help to make decisions such as disk or tape medium, and on-site versus cloud or off-site clearer for you.

The best solutions for recovery are going to be more costly, but you can also look at what it costs you to have data systems down for a day or more. How much data is lost in a 24 hour period? The answer may scare you a bit as to the cost. Look for solutions that can have you restored in a matter of minutes if data is central to your survival as a business entity.

Also, think of the lost revenue and sales for every minute your data is unavailable.

  • Develop a disaster recovery plan – and follow through with a live test

Having a disaster recovery plan in ink, actually written down and placed where it can be found in time of need is something you would think every company has done – and you’d be wrong. Have it written down, and actually give it a run through to discover any errors or weaknesses in the plan.

These are just a few of the many data recovery tips you need to be aware of!