Remember when servers had their own dedicated room which had to have raised floors, and a special air handling unit? They were big, expensive and loud, and the cost to insure them could equal the total cost for coverage on your inventory and other equipment.
Today, your iPhone is as powerful as the old servers, and one virtual server can replace an entire room of outdated equipment for $4,000. Often times, computer equipment is not given the attention it deserves. The comment we hear often is “servers are so cheap now that when ours breaks down, we just buy another."
We see an emerging risk created by this scenario. While the cost of replacing aging hardware is going down, our reliance on outdated equipment continues to increase, creating an inverse relationship. Every day, we see companies that have updated equipment, but outdated backup and disaster recovery techniques.
Below are 5 best practices to make sure your company is back in business faster than your competitors in the event of a disaster:
Complete an inventory form of all hardware and software keep it in an offsite location.
Compare backup strategies (tape, hard drive, raid, or cloud), create an RFP for procurement of your preferred solution, come to a decision and implement. If you are using tape or HD, keep them offsite.
Have a "Plan B." Imagine your operations are gone tomorrow - completely wiped off the map. Follow the How, When, Where and What model - how are we going to open, when will we be ready for business, where are our people and what is the next step? This disaster plan needs to include all the risks associated with your product, people, and equipment.
Schedule a testing day. Once a year you have to test the recovery methods you have put in place. We see plenty of companies that purchase backup solutions that come with 3 ring binders full of pretty plans. Despite all the paperwork, when the unexpected occurs, these plans fail and all the data and software is lost because of a small issue that could have been identified in testing.
Involve your vendors or stakeholders. If you pay for outsourced web hosting or IT services, utilize the expertise your vendors have and schedule a day when they test their backup as well. They should do this at no charge to you.
Ignoring your computer equipment and the risks associated with it can be the difference between you reopening quickly and efficiently after a disaster with zero loss of customers or employees, and never opening your doors again.