Back in September, Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic storm observed since 2005, left devastating destruction across the Caribbean countries. Meanwhile, the Napa Valley wildfires coupled with the floods damaged and destroyed many wineries, leaving local businesses heavily impacted. Although it is not always possible to predict when disasters will occur, a well-developed disaster recovery plan will always help business owners to prepare for the unexpected.
A disaster recovery plan consists of a set of controls and procedures for restoring and continuing operations following a natural or man-made disaster. The most common entity data protection and recovery strategies are the use of mirror backups, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), and off-site data with computer systems and networking device support. These strategies protect data from man-made disasters and help backup data quickly in the event of a natural disaster. A well-structured disaster recovery plan will significantly shorten the information technology (IT) systems downtime and off-site facilities will ensure business operations remain uninterrupted.
An off-site facility is a location where an entity can either send back up copies of all pertinent data to be restored when needed or can be used to relocate the business to ensure continuing business operations. The most common off-site facilities include the following:
- Cold Site
A cold off-site location can usually restore business operations within one to three days. It takes longer to be made operational compared to a hot or warm site as the actual hardware, such as computer systems and networking devices need to be purchased and installed. One advantage of a cold site is the cost is relatively low.
- Hot Site
By having a hot off-site facility, companies can restore their business operations within a few hours. It serves as a duplication of the original facility and is equipped with all necessary computer systems and networking devices. All software applications and data backups have been installed and very little time is needed to be up and running.
- Warm Site
A warm off-site location is a compromise between the hot backup site and the cold backup site. It has computer systems and networking devices installed but may have uncompleted software applications and backup data. A warm site usually requires a day to be made operational because data stored at a warm site needs to be updated.
In order to develop and implement the most effective disaster recovery and business continuity plan, entities should always assess the risks they have or may be facing in order to choose the plan that will best fit their business needs. If you have any questions about how to best protect your business, please contact your L&B professional at 858-558-9200.