Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan for Your Small Business

Paul Mah

Putting together a disaster recovery plan isn’t something that is reserved to the domain of large or enterprise businesses. While the endeavor can indeed be a complex undertaking for bigger organizations with thousands of employees, a small business or SOHO (some office, home office) can probably put together a working disaster recovery plan in relatively short order.

With this in mind, I outline some of the most important areas and suggestions on disaster recovery below.

Back up Work Data

The most precious asset of a typical business these days would probably be its digitized data. As such, any disaster recovery plan necessitates that a copy of this data is regularly achieved at a location that is not only geographically separate, but also easily accessible.

One method of fulfilling the two prerequisites specified above would be to rely on a cloud storage service such as SugarSync. Businesses are well advised to carefully consider the relative risks of storing unencrypted data in the cloud, which does carry inherent risks not found in backups that are stored offline. For now, you may want to check out my “Three Methods of Backing up Your Crucial Work Files in 2013” for more information on backing up your work data.

Restoring Server Assets

Having a backup copy of data on hand is good, but of little immediate use if replacement servers required to make use of them cannot be deployed within a reasonable timeframe. As it is, remember to make a full image of the operating system and supporting software on a regular basis using server backup software such as Acronis Backup & Recovery.

It is for this reason that many businesses have opted to fully virtualize their infrastructure, which allows them to make copies of the entire virtual machines with little effort. If done properly, these software virtual machines can be copied onto a replacement server and reused with little configuration needed. Obviously, making use of cloud infrastructure and online services offers the same benefit; though it is worth noting that even Amazon EC2 is known to fail.

Working from Home

The earlier two points address the ability for small businesses to restore their work data and infrastructure in the wake of a disaster. Moving ahead, the next consideration is being able to resume work with the shortest amount of interruptions, or to continue working while waiting out inclement weather, for example.

For this to work, employees need to be prepared to work from home, preferably armed with company laptops. This does also entail the availability of speedy broadband access, as well as some means to securely access the work files once they are recovered from data storage and redeployed on new servers.

While the above areas are what I consider to be the most important aspects, it is important to remember that the finer details of how a small business can get up to speed will obviously differ from one business to the next. The above pointers should be a good start for just about every small business, however.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jan 16, 2013 5:35 AM nas demo nas demo  says:
Hello Paul, Your way of writing a blog compelled me to think you are a data disaster recovery expert. Your post consist very important & basic points that should be remembered but unfortunately people will not pay as much attention towards their important data. Undoubtedly Sugar Sync is the best data recovery software, but will you please suggest me any other efficient software for data recovery at affordable prices? Reply
Jan 16, 2013 2:03 PM it disaster recovery it disaster recovery  says:
Amazing post! Creating a backup of your data is actually what should be done to every user who is working in a technical field. Cruel weather and natural disasters can impact a business if firms lack a consistent disaster improvement plan. Hurricanes, floods, fires and other events can damage or destroy critical infrastructure, making it difficult for companies to take action. Thanks for sharing! Reply
Jan 18, 2013 5:25 PM NeilAdvani NeilAdvani  says:
Hi Paul Mah , Good advice on "Disaster Recovery Plan for Your Small Business". every small business holder should follow this page. Actually there is a lot of small business out there. It might be come natural calamity. So it needs to move the data in safest server. This indeed is good policy. Thanks for sharing this information to us. Keep it up. Reply
Mar 1, 2013 6:25 PM Jess Jess  says:
Interesting post. Having an up to date disaster recovery plan is so critical, especially for small businesses. Reply
Mar 4, 2014 11:00 AM Joseph Levi Joseph Levi  says:
Great Post Paul, I appreciate your work. Reply

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