You may have heard of companies which invest in a network disaster recovery plan (often abbreviated to network DRS or simply NDRS), and wonder what that is. As mentioned in our main guide on disaster management, there are two main sides to disaster recovery and management. First of all, there is the human side of handling an emergency or disaster, focused on helping the people in need meet their basic needs (food, water, shelter, emergency medical care, safety and so on). Usually, this side of disaster relief work is handled by both governmental agencies (like FEMA) and non-governmental organizations.
The second side to handling a disaster or disruptive event, whether it is a natural one or a man-made one, is meant for protecting businesses, companies or institutions and allowing them to continue their activity. For institutions and state infrastructure, the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) handles the steps involved for emergency management and disaster recovery. For private companies and businesses, a blend of state services and private services acts to protect their activity and help them recover faster. This is known as a Business Continuity Plan (usually offered by companies specializing in this), and disaster recovery is a smaller part of that, dealing specifically with the recovery of the IT systems of the company.
Even more specifically, the part of disaster recovery services that deals with networks and getting them back online is called network disaster recovery. The main thing you need to know about a NDRS is that no matter the size of the company you work in (or have), you probably need one. Nowadays, there are probably very few business activities (if there are any) which don’t rely heavily on information systems. This means that most of your activity logs and sensitive data, not to mention your entire collection of company records, policies, procedures and know-how are stored within your company’s network, and when a disaster strikes and damages it, your entire operation is threatened.
Services which offer you a network disaster recovery plan and help insure your data and systems (through cloud storage backup and through expert assistance on resuming activity) are more and more popular. But signing up for one of these service packs isn’t enough to protect your IT systems: first, you need to assess by yourself (maybe with some external assistance, though), and set the foundation for your network disaster recovery plan. Here is how.
How to Create a Network Disaster Recovery Plan
In order to end up with the perfect network disaster recovery plan, you need to follow these basic steps:
- Get a consultant from a disaster recovery service to help you identify your main vulnerabilities in your IT system;
- Write down the main assets or priorities that need to be protected first and foremost. The few features without which your business’s whole activity could not function (or could not be streamlined). No external specialist can do this for you, since you are the one who knows your activity best;
- Take a look at an example of a network disaster recovery plan template for inspiration, any sample you can usually find online goes. Most likely, your disaster recovery firm will handle the creation of the official version of the plan for you, but you need to have an idea of how one looks beforehand. This will allow you to revise the first two points of this checklist of steps, if you’ll realize it’s necessary (the part with the main priorities of your particular business activity, and the part with your main vulnerabilities);
- With the help of your network disaster recovery consultant, create the actual version of your final network disaster recovery plan. Set the protections in motion and rest better at night from now on, considering that no matter what may come your way, your business continuity is insured in its most important aspect.
The Main Services You Should Consider for Your Network Disaster Recovery
There are plenty of services which provide companies small and large with disaster recovery for their IT systems. This type of service is actually becoming more and more popular, with the biggest software and cloud storage companies competing for the attention of business owners who are looking for the best network disaster recovery plan for their business.
Here a very brief list of the main service providers in this niche. Take a look into their offers, if only to get a better idea of what to expect from the actual provider you will eventually opt for.
1. Microsoft Azure
The Azure service from Microsoft is considered by many to be the ultimate network disaster recovery plan, provided by some of the best specialists in the field. Few backup infrastructures match the highly advanced preparedness of Microsoft, and their personalized plans for each client offer targeted and immediate response to any cyber-threat or disruptive event. You can find out more about their services here.
2. Bluelock Recovery Solutions
The network disaster recovery plan from Bluelock promises an almost seamless resuming of your activity in case anything happens to your IT systems. Few other service providers can make – and hold – a similar promise, and based on how their popularity, they seem to be keeping their promise pretty well. You can read up more about their service here.
This next service on out top 5 list is provided from VEEAM. Official reviews for VEEAM praise it for their instant fixes and affordable rates, and their special self-restore portal for application owners is also highly appreciated. See more about their range of services here.
4. SunGard’s Disaster Recovery Service
One of the best things about SunGard is that they offer many kinds of different network disaster recovery plans and service packs. Their case studies and extra resources and data which back their figures and claims are also impressive. You can see more about their multiple service packs here.
5. Acronis Disaster Recovery
The full service from Acronis has a few impressive features that convince many business owners to sign up for their network disaster recovery plan. They use a hybrid cloud backup system so that your data stays safe even if a disaster were to hit both you and them at the same time, and they also offer wider business continuity solutions beyond the disaster recovery side. You can read up more about the Acronis services here.