Prepare for the unexpected.

A data center outage is not just an operations problem; it is a business problem. The cost of unplanned outages can reverberate far and wide affecting revenue, reputation, and customer loyalty. 

With the enterprises’ increased dependency on IT and the increased interdependency of systems, cascading failures can cause significant impact, and outages of any type are unacceptable.  In a world increasingly driven by digital business, unplanned outages can be fatal.

Vigilance and investment are the best stance when it comes to IT Disaster Recovery (DR).

IT Disaster Recovery services overview of framework
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David-Kenneth Group’s IT DR philosophy is based on years of working with various standard industry recovery methodologies. We believe DR is a custom fit that must support the continuity of an organization’s business operations in both an affordable and sustainable way. Our goal is to help you understand, optimize, and right size your IT landscape to respond to any kind of disaster that would affect your organization.”
Sean McCarthy, M.B.C.P.
Senior Disaster Recovery Architect
David-Kenneth Group

IT disaster recovery preparation: establish framework.

Whether your organization is looking to mature its DR program or launch an inaugural program, it begins by establishing a framework so that a strategy and roadmap can be developed, implemented, and exercised toward maturity.

David-Kenneth Group’s DR service is organized into five towers and designed to help organization’s align their DR plan with their day-to-day business operations. The five towers are:

  1. Governance Framework
  2. Requirement Analysis
  3. Assessment & Strategy
  4. Design & Build
  5. Implement, Exercise & Maintain

1. Governance Framework

Governance provides guidance and oversight on implementing, managing, and maintaining DR activities that satisfy the recovery objectives and requirements.


2. Requirements Analysis

Determining the requirements, i.e. Business Impact Analysis or BIA, helps an enterprise understand and prioritize the recovery of mission critical business processes. The analysis provides the maximum amount of time acceptable for an outage for each business function relative to the risks and the financial impact. The results provide the recovery requirements that are used to prioritize critical business functions and supporting applications into recovery tiers and the recovery mechanisms.


3. Assessment and Strategy 

A DR assessment evaluates your current IT disaster recovery capabilities using your current processes, procedures, and infrastructure deployment to identify any vulnerabilities that may impact recovery, fail-over, or fail-back to normal operations.  Where gaps are identified, David-Kenneth Group recommends remediation processes and technical improvements to help meet the recovery requirements and mitigate vulnerabilities.

A strategy is created with actionable plans and technical procedures to “fill in the gaps” of the current recovery plan or to create a new one. The recovery strategy is incorporated into the disaster recovery plan and include event identification, escalation, notification, recovery execution and management of the event from recovery to a return to normal operations.

 

4. Design and Build

DR design identifies and evaluates design alternatives that support the recovery strategy and are suitable for your environment and business goals. 

David-Kenneth Group provides customized drawings, technical process specifications, deployment pattern design, and an implementation project plan as viable design alternatives. We also provide estimated capital expenses and operational cost estimates for budgeting and planning purposes

An IT DR build offers assistance with modifying, building, and deploying the DR infrastructure and processes across the IT landscape.

 

5. Implement, Exercise and Maintain

David-Kenneth Group implements the IT DR plan, provides training and incorporates the plan into the Enterprise Services Continuity Management or Business Continuity Plan. We also develop a roadmap to manage change to recovery infrastructure deployments and schedule awareness and exercise training.

Recovery exercises facilitate either tabletop or physical exercises, documents and, observations, and recommends remediation action to improve the recovery and continuity posture. The results are delivered in a post-exercise summary report and can be incorporated into the IT Services Continuity Management or Business Continuity Plan.

David-Kenneth Group also establishes a maintenance schedule to review and update DR plans and procedures annually or after major change.

Explore your options.

IT disaster recovery can be complex with a number of strategic and tactical details to consider.
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Here are some common questions about IT Disaster Recovery:
How important is executive sponsorship for IT Disaster Recovery (IT DR)?

Executive leadership is crucial. Once the risk and potential impact of not having an effective IT DR plan are realized, senior leadership will make the required investments to protect the enterprise. Ultimately, the business case for a comprehensive plan is that it pays for itself when disaster strikes. The three critical success factors are

  1. having a plan, 
  2. keeping the plan updated, and 
  3. regularly exercising the plan.
What role does virtualization play in IT DR?
Geographical distribution of IT systems has never been easier with tools such as VMware and MS Hyper-V. Virtualization plays a significant role in the portability of applications and data to diverse locations in different weather or impacting zones and on different electric grids and network connections. If designed properly, it provides for greater survivability.
What is the economic risk if core applications go down for a day, a week, or even longer?
Some applications are revenue generating, and some are used for internal support. Each application is important, but not every application is equally important. Some business processes or applications might not have the same impact on any given day, but are vital at certain times of the business cycle. Working with the business units will help to determine an application’s revenue-impact by day, hour, and minute so you can prioritize applications according to financial and non-financial risks.
Is it prudent to protect applications differently?
Perhaps the biggest shift from legacy disaster recovery solutions to today’s in-house or cloud-based DR solutions is the ability to protect specific applications at their best-fit protection level, rather than forcing a one-size-fits-all DR solution. Today’s solutions allows for more streamlined costs – insuring that applications that need high cost protection have it, while not burdening low impact applications with high cost solutions for DR.
How often should we test?
A DR solution that doesn’t work when it’s called upon is a waste of money for the business and an unnecessary increase in IT operational risk. Twice annual testing is the recommended test schedule for most applications. If your applications change significantly, then testing should be increased to keep pace with the updates. There are various types of tests: tabletop/walk-through tests, application tests, application group test, or business function tests. When new applications are deployed, DR testing should be a part of the roll out plan to ensure continuity capability once in production.