Update Your Disaster Recovery Plan and Make Sure It Will Work This Year

When’s the last time you updated your disaster recovery (DR) plan? If it’s more than a year ago, dig out the document, dust off the cover, and take time to review it. It’s likely that there are significant changes in your technology, people, and processes that aren’t properly reflected in your DR plan.

Hardware/Server Changes

Your plan needs to cover all your servers, including physical servers, virtual machines, and cloud. Make sure you have a complete inventory of all your machines, including their configurations and network configurations. Update  your plan to reflect new machines that were added and old hardware that was retired.

Software Changes

Along with your list of servers, note which operating system each machine runs and the applications that run on the server. Update the details including patch levels and version numbers.

Network Changes

Your DR plan should be aware of all your network devices and software. Make sure your DR plan reflects current network requirements including ports that are opened or blocked and other firewall restrictions.

Personnel Changes

An up-to-date contact list is important for any DR plan. Update your list to reflect employees who have left or joined the company, as well as those who’ve moved internally and now have different responsibilities. You should also have a current list of external contacts who may need to participate in disaster recovery, such as vendors and partners.

Process Changes

Have changes in applications, databases, or other IT components changed the process needed to restore and recover applications? Update the procedures in your DR plan to follow the current steps. If there are manual steps the business needs to take as part of the recovery, be sure to update those as well as the technical procedures.

Business Changes

Not all applications need to be recovered urgently. Your recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives (RTOs and RPOs) should match the business priority of the application. If changes in the business have made an application more critical or less critical than it was last year, update the RTOs and RPOs to suit the need. Then make sure the procedures you have for each application will let you get it up quickly enough to meet those new objectives.

Test Your New Plan

Once you have an updated DR plan, schedule a test to make sure the new plan works. You can do a desk read-through, which will catch some errors and omissions, or schedule a full DR test, where you bring down the production servers and follow the DR plan’s steps to get them back online and operational.

Prescient Solutions offers complete disaster recovery services to protect your critical business systems. Read about how you can avoid falling for disaster recovery myths or contact us to get started updating your disaster recovery strategy and keeping your business safe.

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