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Images of the devastation caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma are stark reminders of the need for strong disaster recovery measures. Failing to adequately prepare for natural disasters, such as high winds and flooding, may mean months or years of recovery. Worse yet, many affected companies may never Sinking Ship recover. 

Natural disasters aside, episodes of major downtime from equipment failure, power outages, or human error are inevitable. According to the 2016 State of Disaster Recovery Survey, 54% of companies reported experiencing a period of more than 8 hours of downtime in the past 5 years. A third of respondents estimated they would lose up to $20,000 per day during an extended outage. The good news is you can potentially lessen the impact of a major outage by addressing some disaster recovery issues. 

Here are 5 common disaster recovery mistakes you should avoid: 

1) Allowing for a Single Point of Failure 

Any time a single component is used to perform a function, your business is vulnerable to a shutdown. Critical applications may run on one server, or an array of servers may run through a single network switch. If you suffer equipment failure or if power is cut to that component, the entire system stops working. Redundancy is the key to making sure your business keeps running when a piece of equipment fails. 

2) Not Testing Your Disaster Recovery Plan Regularly 

The worst time to discover your disaster recovery plan doesn’t work is during a disaster. If you test your plan frequently, you can make necessary adjustments to ensure it operates during a real emergency. Disaster recovery plans should be tested more than once a year. The tests should also simulate a variety of real-world scenarios. 

3) Choosing a Colocation Too Close to Your Primary Data Center 

Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and blizzards, can affect large geographical areas. If your colocation is located in close proximity to your primary data center, it could be knocked out by the same disaster affecting your primary data center, leaving you unable to restore your files and applications. When choosing a colocation, find a provider that offers geographical diversity. Cloud disaster recovery is another great option that provides data centers across a wide region. 

4) Not Making Enough Backup Copies 

To ensure you have enough backup copies, follow the 3-2-1 rule. Mission-critical files should be backed up 3x. These copies should be backed up to at least two different types of storage media. At least one copy should be stored off-site so it escapes the effect of any damage to your primary data center. 

5) Failing to Update Your Disaster Recovery Plan 

Your company is continually innovating to gain an edge on your competitors. As you embrace trends such as the cloud, advanced analytics, and the internet of things, you need to make sure your disaster recovery plan is updated to protect your new resources. Taking the time to regularly assess your disaster recovery plan will give you the opportunity to add new measures as needed. 

Developing an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan 

If you haven’t evaluated your disaster recovery plan in a while, now is the time. Assessing and reworking your plan could save you from making errors that might cripple your business. Getting a fresh point of view from a disaster recovery provider can expose flaws in your plan that you may have overlooked. 

FirstLight offers an expert perspective on disaster recovery. We provide a disaster recovery as a service solution that could help avoid serious mistakes. Cloud-based disaster recovery offered through our 9,600 route-mile fiber optic network and 11 data center/colocation facilities gives you geographical diversity. We ensure reliability by conducting free testing. Real-time, continuous replication achieves recovery point objectives of seconds. 

Gain peace of mind by partnering with FirstLight for disaster recovery. 

Do these disaster recovery mistakes look familiar? Let FirstLight correct them.