Disaster recovery remains a challenge for many organizations

2014 has been a wicked one so far when it comes to winter weather. Terms like "polar vortex" are now common vernacular and parts of the southern United States have experienced more ice and snow in the last month than they have in years. One ice storm essentially shut down the city of Atlanta.

A recent article from Fox News recapped the storm season thus far while looking at the most recent front that affected areas from Texas to Maine. The wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow made for a messy Valentine's Day, as icy roads and canceled flights delayed many flower deliveries and made travel plans difficult.

While that was an inconvenience for some, things were much more serious for others. Some 6,500 flights were grounded nationwide on Thursday and countless schools, businesses and government agencies kept their doors closed or encouraged  employees to stay home. On top of that, about 1.2 million utility customers lost power.

Storms highlight need for disaster recovery

For many organizations, the weather so far this year has not only made getting work done difficult, it has also put companies at risk, because the after effects of an extended power outage can be devastating. This is especially true for companies that do not have a complete disaster recovery plan in place. 

A recent article from Search Disaster Recovery examined the different mistakes that organizations are making when it comes to backing up and protecting their data. According to a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, companies with set disaster recovery plans are down roughly 50 percent, to approximately 39 percent, from those surveyed last year.

Aside from a lack of investment in various processes, there is also a drop in the number of companies that are rigorously testing and constantly upgrading their disaster recovery plans. A lot of this stems from misconceptions about the industry.

"Over the past few years, vendors have spent considerable effort trying to convince users that a side benefit of those technologies is improved or increased protection for data and operations," the article reads. "However, most of these claims are downright false or, at least, only true with lots of caveats."

The piece goes on to talk about several specific mistakes that many organizations are making. These include:

  • High availability does not equal disaster recovery. Some vendors hype the irrelevancy of disaster recovery plans, citing these processes are handled in the latest high availability technology. That's not true and changes nothing about the need for continuity planning.
  • Don't try to make all applications fit one process. Every technology solution has a unique challenge and trying to find a one-size-fits-all kind of solution will be increasingly difficult.
  • Don't try to backup everything all the time. Companies are filled with various kinds of data and it doesn't need to all be updated every single time. Only 30 percent of information requires consistent, day-to-day backs, the other 70 percent can be backed up much less frequently.
  • Don't forget about information not stored centrally – Because of the increase in remote workers and access, more information is being housed in outlying data repositories which can often be overlooked during the process.

Backup and recovery solutions are a vital tool for success in the digital age. With the help of an IT consulting firm that understands this, any company can easily find the right system to ensure all information is kept safe at all times.