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5-critical-key-questions-for-your-it-team

by | Nov 1, 2019 | DR

I created a company to help others make decisions that move their company forward. This is the reason why I called it Decision Forward, LLC.

Straight to the point:

1) How much faith do you have in our back-up strategy?

2) Have we ever intentionally tested destroyed systems, and performed restores from the backups to prove our backups work?

3) Are the systems simple enough to use so anyone in IT can perform them without a SME being present?

4) Do we have one or more off-site/off-cloud copies of our systems?

5) Can we restore our systems and our data at these 3 levels?
– Software Level (Like Databases and Email Boxes)
– At the File Level? (Like your documents and stuff)
– Low level Sector Backup (The physical disk drive in the system)

 

Reasoning behind these questions:

1) How much faith do you have in our back-up strategy?

(answer) This is a loaded question and the bulk of the answer can be found below in #2.

2) Have we ever intentionally tested destroyed systems, and performed restores from the backups to prove our backups work?

(answer) Nothing is more unnerving than this question. Any answer other than, “YES!” is an immediate RED FLAG, and cause for concern. You do not want to be in your hour of need and find out that you can’t recover. If you ask your IT folks just one question, this should be it!

3) Are the systems simple enough to use so anyone in IT can perform them without a SME being present?

(answer) When disaster strikes you can’t always count on a specialist being around. Someone in IT usually is available though. Making sure even the most entry level staff member can perform a restore is critical. Access to the system is another strategy. Don’t confuse training and accessibility. The key takeaway here is, your plan needs to make sure the person available has both the access and knowledge.

 

4) Do we have one or more off-site/off-cloud copies of our systems?

(answer) Regardless if you are on premise or in the cloud, you need to make sure you have multiple ways to get to your recovery backups. If your systems are on premise its as simple as taking a copy of the backups and shipping a copy to a secure location in the cloud.

If your in the cloud, then make sure you have copies minimally in multiple regions or even a second cloud provider. All Cloud providers segment the services they offer into regional zones. It is not uncommon for an entire region to go down. If it does and all your info is trapped in one region, your fully down and your backups do you little to no good during the outage.

 

5) Can we restore our systems and our data at these 3 levels?

(answer) Disasters and issues come in varying degrees of severity. Your plan needs to be about speed of recovery from an event. Since this is a non-technical post, I will not elaborate. Just know your plan should considered all the levels, then document the reasons why, a decision was made. This way, when you evaluate your strategy annually, one must ask, “is this still true, or do we need to reconsider our approach?”.

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