Modern Disaster Recovery: Preparing For The Worst

By David Chapa

I recently had the privilege of joining Commvault on a webinar, “Mastering Modern Disaster Recovery,” where Jeff Harbert, Director of Technical Services Programs and I discussed how DR has transformed over the years from multiple tapes to a cloud recovery model.  

While I could spend hours talking about the technical aspects of DR, I wanted to focus on the business side of things. During the webinar, we touched on a lot of different parts of a modern-day disaster recovery plan, which is why I wanted to write this blog and provide a highlight of some of the areas we hit on.

One of the things I have stressed over the years is the importance of IT aligning its strategy with the goals and objectives of the business.  I have coined this, “Business-Centric IT,” because it draws the business unit managers and executives into a conversation about the mission of the core business, the top priorities and expectations. At the same time, IT looks for complementary technology solutions to help achieve these aspirations. While this may not sound like a typical IT conversation on the front end, the back-end conversation is 100% IT as you look to deploy solutions to support the front end.  It is from this perspective that I typically address all of the challenges within IT, and DR is a perfect candidate for this philosophy because it touches every aspect of the business.

Where to start

I wish there were a one-size-fits-all DR plan. Unfortunately, those don’t exist in this day and age. Each DR plan is unique to the individual organization; however, there are a few things you can have in common across all DR plans, which I would call the bones or structure. Here is a short list of the items I focus on when working with clients to develop a modern DR plan:    

1. Identify the mission of the organization
2. Prioritize the risks
3. Define what “declaration” means to you
4. Schedule DR Tests
5. Review with executive management

DR has changed over the years thanks to the technological advancements in both software and hardware, especially the cloud.  What hasn’t changed much about DR is the process of creating a strategy and plan. We continue to be faced with hackers — some companies have experienced severe issues with ransomware, and we find ourselves dealing with something none of us have had to experience before, COVID-19.  These new events present unique challenges and ones we do need to understand and prepare ourselves for in light of keeping our businesses operating as usual.  We would consider disaster in the past as “smoking holes,” but today there is a broad continuum of catastrophes. Some begin as “business interruptions” that progress to more significant issues that we must respond to through the execution of the DR plan.

In closing

This is a big topic, and it is clear that we only scratched the surface during the webinar. My suggestion is to get in touch with the partners you work with and ask for assistance as you go forward with a DR strategy and plan. I would undoubtedly recommend a conversation with Commvault to hear about how its platform can support you and your IT organization as it helps the mission of your business. My company is available to consult with you and your team as well to review your plan and strategy or spend a day going through a DR workshop and double-clicking on some of the things I mentioned in this blog. 

Do not feel you must go this alone; it is a critical component to your business. There are DR/BC professionals on staff with Commvault who have gone through this process and understand the questions to ask. So whether it is The CTE Group, Commvault, or the reseller partner you are working with, reach out to us. If you’d like to explore these bullet points of the structure I outlined as a DR plan, be sure to follow me on LinkedIn or my website. I will be posting a more in-depth blog there based on my Business-Centric IT philosophy.

We are here to help.