Disaster Recovery Services: Questions to Ask

With increasing dependence on system availability, recovery of your core servers, applications, and networks are fundamentally if a disaster occurs. In fact, because organizations rely more and more on ‘anytime, anywhere’ connectivity, ‘system availability’ has become identical to ‘disaster recovery services‘.

According to Analyst Industry Gartner, “Two of the five companies experienced disasters out of business within five years. Business continuity plans and disaster recovery services ensure continuity and survival.” (Disaster Recovery Plan and the System is very important, September 2001)

This article discusses your consideration when choosing a service provider to provide disaster recovery services – partners on whom your business survival might depend.

Focus and Disaster Recovery Skills

  1. When reviewing your option for disaster recovery services, potential provider genealogies are very important. Here are some key questions for asking:
  2. What is their core business? If it is the sale of hardware or software, or the supply of internet or telecommunications services, the availability of the system will be a secondary consideration – ‘add-on’ to other services or products.
  3. How many specialist engineers will be available to help you during the short window you need to improve your system and walk again?

In helping you develop the right disaster recovery plan, will they care more about selling additional servers or communication links, rather than formulating cost-effective multi-subscriber solutions that are in accordance with your company’s risk strategy?

Your best choice is an organization that focuses on the availability of the system, which is dedicated to up-time your main business system, and with technical expertise, facilities, economic scales and procedures for providing timely disaster recovery in an emergency.

Disaster recovery response

When a disaster occurs, time is essence.

  1. How long should you wait before you qualify to take advantage of your disaster recovery service provider? 
  2. Then, once they accept ‘declared disasters’, how long does your system function?
  3. And can they provide examples of disaster declarations and how fast they respond to bringing an affected business application online?

Search for disaster recovery providers that can guarantee having facilities available for you within a maximum of 12 hours – and with proven methodologies and resources available to help you in the rapid recovery of your business operations. This includes the speed with which they can recover your data to disaster recovery servers, the availability of technology to spread your standard operating environment to their workstations, and access to experienced engineers that are sufficient to help you and run back.

Affordable disaster recovery

The strategies you choose to protect your business if a disaster will definitely reflect the balance between risks and costs. Many medium businesses cannot justify the replication costs of real-time applications, when this application can be restored using a multi-customer solution in the desired disaster recovery window. However, other organizations require instant recovery applications to meet their disaster recovery strategies.

Your ideal disaster recovery service provider will offer a variety of solutions – tailored to your specific needs – from the premium operating system premium options reflected in real-time, to economic access to multi-customer equipment. If some of your applications are more critical than others, perhaps the combination of both solutions will meet the risks and objectives of your costs.

  1. Do they need payment upfront for the entire contract period?
  2. Will you be faced with additional fees if you declare a disaster, or do they enter the free period of use of their facilities?
  3. And the days you need for routine testing of your disaster recovery plan included in your monthly subscription?

Disaster recovery facility
Important consideration when choosing a service provider is a facility for your staff at the disaster recovery center.

  • If the worst happens, and you lose access to the main place for a long time, can your disaster recovery service provider handle it?
  • If you need to divert your customer’s contact center, can the service provider offer the required telephone equipment and switchboard functions?
  • And will the key staff remain committed over the duration of blackout? Factors such as security, parking, kitchen facilities and access to public transportation and all facilities come to equations.

When choosing between vendors and independent disaster recovery service providers, questions that you must ask include:

  • Can they support multiple platforms? If your main application depends on the system from various vendors, can only one of the vendors that provide effective disaster recovery services?
  • And whether a replacement server that is proactively maintained by experts and is supported by ownership of spare parts in the same capital – or do they represent storage facilities for redundant equipment that offers recovery ‘best efforts’?
  • Another important consideration is the ability of your disaster recovery service provider to be delivered if a disaster scenario that affects multi-tenant buildings, roads, city blocks or even the entire suburbs. Where will you come in the Pecking order if your provider has been committed to providing disaster recovery services to your neighbors?

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