Today several businesses and employees are waking up to a uncertain future in central London. On Friday a large scale fire broke out in Dean Street, Soho, gutting at least one business and leading to a large number of residents being evacuated for many hours.
Whether the fire could have been prevented remains unclear. Maybe the business involved has the ability to continue to trade; if not, they will have a number of difficult questions to answer about business continuity and disaster recovery.
If you have a disaster recovery plan, you hope never to use it. Putting one in place however, along with enabling technologies, would drastically reduce the downtime casued by an actual disaster, while improving the underlying infrastructure for day to day operations.
ISN advise customers to regularly carry out business impact analysis of each business unit of their organisation. Understanding how a disaster would affect each business unit, in terms of hard and soft costs (lost orders and loss of future orders through brand degradation) is critical to developing a robust strategy to tackle any disaster. Getting your data to the right people quickly is a decisive point in allowing your business to continue.
Understanding that your data is not the only issue to deal with: new equipment, offices, and infrastructure may also be required. Implementing plans so that every member of your business understands how to continue with business as usual, in the event of a massive business outage is key.
ISN recommends organisations look at technologies such as virtualisation, storage and offsite backups to help circumvent these situations. Mirrored storage would allow you to have you mission critical data to be centralised off your main site and allow for replication back to your head office when new equipment is installed. That, coupled with technologies such as Citrix XenApp to allow users to work from home as if they were in the office, means you lose fewer working days. If you are small enough not to need to shared storage, offsite back up can cut data restore times and get your business going again very quickly.
ISN provides business impact analysis for organisation and provides disaster recovery planning services, in the form of a workshop. Our aim is to ensure that in the event of your business being involved in any disaster scenario, it quickly returns to business as usual instead of becoming business confusion.