But Crump's most important suggestion focuses on the human variable in the data-recovery equation. After all, many disasters that place a company's data at risk could also disrupt its normal IT operations or leave key IT staff members unavailable for an extended period.
The first key to an effective data-recovery plan involves documenting every step required to implement it. The second requires real-world testing to ensure that other team members, or perhaps even a trusted outside IT service provider, can follow the plan and put it into effect.
It might even make sense to recruit a pool of data-recovery team members -- and then occasionally toss one member the backup-and-restore manual, without warning, to see how long it takes them to walk through the process.
Bear in mind that many disruptive events, by their very nature, are extremely chaotic. It is possible to address some events by restoring lost data from internal backup systems. In other cases, a company's off-site backups may be its only hope for restoring business operations in a timely manner. In order for a plan to work, team members must know exactly when, how, and where to implement appropriate data-recovery procedures.
Let's face it: Most of us get annoyed when a fire drill interrupts what we are doing. A data-recovery drill creates many of the same problems, including the inevitable complaints about "doing it later."
That's short-sighted thinking when you realize that fire drill just might save your life. And it is just as inappropriate to put off a regular data-recovery drill that could save your business.
Don't Miss: NEW! Storage How-To Center