Your company depends on technology to power everything from building security to payroll. While you see excellent productivity gains from a technology-forward infrastructure, you are vulnerable to any situation that takes out your systems. A rogue ex-employee could delete essential databases, a flood could knock out electricity to your data center and emergent mechanical failures are a few ways you could end up losing significant revenue and customer loyalty. A backup and disaster recovery plan is critical for business continuity, as downtime could cost a company millions in direct and indirect losses. When you talk to your managed services provider, use these disaster recovery questions to ask about exactly what you're getting before you sign the dotted line.
1. Add "Do you monitor an off-site and an on-site backup, or do you rely on outdated tape backups?" to your list of disaster recovery questions to ask
Your managed service provider should not put critical backups on outdated tape backups. You could end up losing days, weeks or months of work or data that you can't recreate. Look for a vendor offering on-site and off-site backup monitoring and management. They should provide an up-to-date business continuity system that supports fast recovery in the event of an emergency, even if the backups at the location are destroyed.
2. Do you do periodic test restores of my backups to make sure the data is not corrupt and can be restored in the event of a disaster?
A disaster recovery system is only as good as its ability to get you back up and running in an emergency. If your managed service provider simply creates backups but never goes through the entire process, you have no idea what would happen in an actual emergency. The worst time to "test" a backup is when you desperately need it.
Ideally, your company should perform daily "fire drill" tests to confirm the backup is working properly. They confirm that the right data gets backed up, work out any problems before you're in the eleventh hour and give you peace of mind.
3. Do you back up the network before performing any type of project or upgrade?
You want your disaster recovery service provider to keep up with the latest technology, which requires upgrading their systems or working on other projects. They should back up the network before making any changes so a hardware failure or software glitch doesn't wipe out your disaster recovery assets.
4. If we were to experience a major disaster, do you have a written plan for how our data could be restored fast and/or enable us to work from a remote location?
Your managed service provider should provide a written plan detailing exactly how your data gets restored, when you regain network availability and other critical information. You should use this written plan as the foundation for a complete disaster recovery strategy for your office, but you have the most important parts of your infrastructure protected.
You don't want to face downtime without knowing exactly what your managed service provider is doing to bring your systems back up. By using these disaster recovery questions to ask, you screen out vendors that don't give you sufficient protection for your business continuity needs.
At CSG, we understand that every company ends up encountering some sort of disaster over its lifespan and must be ready with the right support. If you're in need of expert business continuity services, learn more about our business continuity planning services or get in touch today.