Business Continuity Planning – A Must Have!
Have you ever experienced a computer failure and were not able to get any tasks for the day completed until the problem was fixed? What do you do in such a case? How do you recover your data or continue with urgent tasks?
Imagine this happens to your business systems and company data and that it can’t be resolved with the purchase of a new piece of hardware. Businesses are expected to be continuously operational. Every minute of downtime matters, and one could be losing marked ground for days in such a scenario. Learn about Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning.
Let’s define Business Continuity Planning and why it is important to organizations.
Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a document that outlines how an organization will continue operating during and after an unplanned partial or full disruption. It should include all of the organization’s moving parts such as business services and applications, human resources actions, office, datacenters and so on. It must contain contingencies in every aspect of the business that might be affected. BCP typically are checklists that include steps on how to get businesses up and running as fast as possible.
One might wonder how a document will get their business back on-line. The simple answer lies in a famous quote by Cervantes, “The man who is prepared has his battle half fought.” By creating the BCP document one plans for such events in advance. So, when there is a computer failure, one has access to all information needed to get the organization up and running. Furthermore, services and processes are in a high-availability and fault tolerant state, data backed up, servers replicated, replacement hardware ready or a quick switch procedure to a different service. A good business continuity plan consists of two main aspects:
1. High Availability
Plan all the organization’s business applications, services and equipment so that business applications can be accessed regardless of local failures. Invest in a secondary office firewall so that if one fails, the office can still access business applications.
2. Fault Tolerance
Keep things running continuously during planned maintenance outages as well as unplanned ones. Build a custom business application, which can operate even if it loses a server it runs on or a database is taken down for maintenance. This can be achieved with the help of load balancers and careful application design.
Furthermore, BCP is collectively made up of the following components:
- Business Resumption Plan
- Occupant Emergency Plan
- Continuity of Operations Plan
- Incident Management Plan
- Disaster Recovery Plan
No matter how good a BCP is, there could always be a disaster – an intentional man-made one or an unprecedented natural one – that can’t simply be planned or mitigated. This is when the Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) steps in.
A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is a set of procedures on how an organization should deal with a disaster as well as recover and protect its IT infrastructure while doing so. It consists of actions to be taken before, during and after a disaster. DRP is a key component of BCP and contains tasks for dealing with IT disruptions to networks, servers, applications and end user devices. It consists of metrics like maximum time to recover services and points to which a service must be restored. Deciding on the metrics that would best help choose technical and billing aspects, for the right failover and backup solutions, is what the DRP finally comes down to.
Looking to build a Business Continuity Plan but don’t know how? Get in touch with ECHO Technology Solutions today! We can not only design and implement a Business Continuity Plan but can regularly test the Disaster Recovery Plan for your business continuity operation.