For most companies, disaster recovery is a critical element to sustained operation. The increased reliance upon digital data has been a big boost in convenience for companies, but has also resulted in a number of unique security hazards. Digital data is easy to manage but is extremely vulnerable to various adverse situations such as a cyber-attack. On the other hand, natural disasters can also cripple an IT facility, which is used to house and manage digital data.
Formulating a disaster recovery plan is a necessity for most companies. However, this process does involve cost. Many firms do not have the necessary resources to invest in such plans. Nevertheless, it is possible to create an effective recovery plan by conducting a cost and benefit analysis of data recovery protocols.
Understanding Disaster Recovery for Firms
When it comes to building data centers, there are three options that firms can consider. A company can build a cold site, a warm site or a hot site. Each facility is associated with different types of cost. The actual selection depends on the budget of the company in question.
A cold site is the least expensive option that a company can implement. It is an IT facility that does not include copies of the data from the original headquarters of the firm.
On the other hand, data centers that are considered to be warm sites include IT equipment that is required by the company. In addition, they include a certain amount of data that is present in the original location.
Hot sites are considered to be the most expensive type of data centers currently in existence. These facilities include sensitive IT equipment, such as servers and storage devices. They also include data backup that is exactly in sync with the data being kept at the original company location. The company keeps in constant communication with this type of data center facility. It also consistently updates data at both the original site as well as the hot site location.
Nevertheless, hot sites can be relatively expensive to setup. Many companies cannot afford to set up and manage this type of facility. That is why only enterprises tend to build their own data centers. Other companies partner with co-location facilities. These third-party data centers allow them to enjoy the benefits of a large IT setup without having to pay the associated costs for data centers.
In order to conduct a cost benefit analysis for a disaster recovery plan, a company must first analyze the value of the data that they have on location. If a firm has expensive IT equipment at its headquarters, it may be more beneficial to move it to an off-site data center. It is even better if this data center is located within an area that is low on the risk scale of natural disaster occurrence. In addition, if loss of data will result in innumerable monetary losses to the firm, having some backup system, be it private or through a data center partner, is critical.