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Disaster recovery 101 with Acronis

By Catherine Knowles, Thu 4 Jun 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

In order to survive unexpected disasters, it's important for businesses to prepare their disaster recovery plans carefully and re-examine them regularly, according to Acronis, the data protection solutions provider.

Some events, such as hardware or software failures, human error, or natural disasters, are inevitable, and acknowledging this can help a business be better prepared.

Lincoln Goldsmith, Acronis general manager ANZ, says, “Many of us concentrate on things we already know and, time and time again, we fail to accept that there are things we don’t know, which we should take into consideration.

“If we are aware of this, we can begin to actively preempt those unexpected events that could cause havoc to IT systems.” 

How to prepare business and IT infrastructure for disaster, according to Acronis:

Control the human factor   

Generally speaking, when a disaster hits and systems are down, IT teams become inundated with calls from people wanting to know when everything will be up and running again.

While under the stress of the situation, mistakes can be made and all recovery tasks may not be executed reliably.

However, if the team practises for disaster, it can minimise potential fallout, says Acronis.

Regularly test recovery 

IT environments are constantly changing, especially in the age of the software-defined data centre, Acronis says.

Software upgrades and patches, hardware changes, new applications, employee turnover, and organisational changes can sometimes render a disaster recovery plans useless.

Regular testing is critical to see how effective a disaster plan will be in a real-life situation.

Leverage automation 

Even with testing, it can be difficult to know for sure all the complex recovery processes will execute as planned.

Automation can mitigate this, according to Acronis.

If disaster recovery plans are automated to execute at the push of a button, rather than stored as a list of instructions in Word or Excel files, there is a much higher chance the solution will work as designed, Acronis says. 

Ensure help is available   

When disasters affect communities rather than businesses alone, employees may be focused on protecting their families and saving their property.

This distracts them from working on business recovery until it’s too late.

Having someone off-premises, unaffected by the same calamity, who is capable of providing professional support while others are dealing with their own problems is key, Acronis says. 

Goldsmith says, “Don’t underestimate the value of a strong disaster recovery partner, and make sure you work with a provider that will suit your business’s specific needs.

“It might be impossible to truly predict disruptive or damaging events, but at least businesses can prepare for them with a little bit of insight and some help from experts in the field.” 

Acronis is preparing on launching its Disaster Recovery Cloud, in order to help businesses protect themselves from unexpected events.

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