SMB Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

Thursday, May 8, 2008
Posted by Brawlin Melgar

by Brawlin Melgar

From my "Things that make you go, huh" files, read the latest entry in Wikipedia - disaster recovery strategies:

"Prior to selecting a Disaster Recovery strategy, the Disaster Recovery planner should refer to their organization's business continuity plan which should indicate the key metrics of Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for various business processes (such as the process to run payroll, generate an order, etc). The metrics specified for the business processes must then be mapped to the underlying IT systems and infrastructure that support those processes."

Most businesses don't have RPO adn RTOs. Heck, most businesses are lucky to be surviving the current economic downturn, much less have time to come up with a Fortune 1000- Style Corporate Disaster Recovery Plan.

Here are my suggestions that all SMB should have as a disaster recovery plan. And just to be like the big guys, lets call it our DRP, for Disaster Recovery Plan.

First of all you need a disaster recovery plan title. Make it something like:

My Comapany Inc, Disaster Recovery Plan

Then you need a mission statement:

The goals of our DRP are to provide for business continuance for the worse case situation.

The DRP should include the following:

1. Alternative Location(s) for physical housing of employees, equipment, inventory.
2. Company Data Archive and Re-installation plan
3. Employee Plan - communication, work process and duties during any disaster.
4. Vendor Plan - Communication, alt delivery locations, special instructions.
5. Customer Plan - Both Confidential and Public communication plans.

Alternative locations can be easy or difficult depending upon your specific type of business. Look for alternative locations that would be suitable for your 'temporary location.' Contact landlord to work a deal out if you ever need to rent the space. By planning this in advance, you can get a better price that if you were in a panic due to fire or other disaster.

Company Data Archival is the key to keeping your accounting, production and other management/employee data intact and up to date. The re-installation component should include vendors that can provide the following"

1. Network Services including Backup Restoration
2. Computer service company to assist employees get connected
3. Computer rental agent to provide temporary equipment where needed

Employee plans should include optional email addresses, phone numbers and duties each employee is expected to carry out in the event of a disaster.

Vendor plans should include alternative telephone numbers, email addresses and any special insructions including delivery locations.

The goal is that a disaster, no matter how big or small, should be felt minimially by your clients. However, having client backup emails and phone numbers is just good business.