(Written by James Pettigrew, FEI Program and Project Manager)

Ensuring backups for the data critical to business operations is an important element of Disaster Recovery (DR).

Consider your company’s DR plan. When was the last time you thoroughly tested restoring backups in a DR-type situation, be it plan analysis or an actual DR situation? Did the backup restore meet expectations? Did all the data needed to keep the business operational restore? If not, why?

These are several important questions to consider before executing your company’s DR plan. The first step when answering the above questions is to complete an in-depth risk analysis with all business owners who are imperative to temporary business operations (and be sure to define temporary in your risk analysis). The risk analysis should determine what needs the business is to focus on.

Though some will make the argument that all systems need to be available, this may not be conducive because of time constraints—restores take time depending on the amount of data and scope. My suggestion is: if you do not have a fail over system design to kick in at system failure and need to rebuild systems based on backups, then do the risk analysis.