As we watch the fires which are raging in the San Diego area we should be reminded that now is the time to review our disaster recovery plans. Even if your home or company isn’t located in the San Diego area, the speed at which these fires came up and are spreading through the area should remind us that we should have backup plans for running anything critical in our lives, both our work and our personal lives.
As I sit here in the Houston Airport coming home from TechEd North America the news is my primary source of information about the destruction which is happen around my own home. Thankfully in our case we’ve already got the pets out at a friend’s house, several changes of clothing with us, and our laptops with us. Our data is all backed up to the cloud and is accessible if needed. Not all companies are so lucky. Some of my clients have offices located within the evacuation zone for the current fires and I know what their disaster recovery plans currently look like for the systems in those offices. Some have full disaster recovery plans, while some don’t. Hopefully this will show those companies that do not have disaster recovery plans that it is time to change that policy.
Just because a system isn’t a customer facing system doesn’t mean that it isn’t a critical system. An example would be your email servers. If your internal Exchange system goes offline for several days, how much of a problem is this? Can your remote users continue to work and function without email? Can your company keep ordering supplies at other offices or continue to pay vendors if the finance system isn’t available? I’m guessing that the answer to these questions is “a big one”, “no” and “no”.
Every system that a company has to run its day to day business is a critical system to someone within the company and keeping those systems up and running when the office isn’t available for days at a time is critical to keeping the business running smoothly.