Opinion

Disaster Recovery Center – the first step towards ensuring business continuity

A disaster recovery center (DRC) is a physical location or a virtual service that allows you to continue workflows in your business when the headquarters is unable to process data or use internal services. It incorporates the main data processing center and the office space, because your company cannot function on data alone.

The cause of such situations can vary from natural disasters (storms, floods, earthquakes or fires) to technological malfunctions (power network, operator failures, viruses or cyber-attacks). Your organization should be prepared for any disruption, to ensure business continuity at every functional level of the company. Of course, for some enterprises the implementation of disaster recovery center services is only an additional security option. However, in certain business areas, due to the fragile or confidential nature of the services provided, the implementation of maintenance procedures may be enforced by the law. This certainly applies to financial institutions and banks.

A disaster recovery center can be a simple service including switching the active data center to a backup, but it may also be a logistically complex operation that allows you to transfer all functionalities of the company to another location. Depending on the assumptions, the level of the data center backup service may allow you to restore almost one hundred per cent of the company’s activity. Backup services can also be designed to provide only a part of strategic key functions for the company’s business continuity. It all depends on your data recovery plan, which can be designed for very short business interruptions (several hours/days), or adapted to long-term disasters with permanent unavailability of the main data processing site (weeks/months).

The backup data center is usually located at a considerable distance from the company’s main operational site, normally in line with the disaster recovery plan. Assuming a small disaster, the recovery center may be located in the same city, in another office or with a local service provider.

However, most disaster recovery plans assume that a catastrophe hits the entire city (flood, transport problems or blackouts), so it is advisable to locate the backup center in another town. In extreme occurrences such as earthquakes, tsunamis and the threat of military conflicts, when the enterprise cannot afford a long break in functioning, the backup data center may be located in another country, or even on another continent. Remember that, in addition to the backup data center, the service can also include a backup office in which employees can continue to work should headquarters become inaccessible. Therefore, the entire business continuity plan must take into account every aspect of the company’s operations, not just the place where data are stored and processed.

If you are interested in DRC services and how to implement a disaster recovery strategy, read Comarch’s new white paper, entitled “Disaster Recovery Center – Guaranteeing Business Continuity” and visit our website https://www.comarch.com/trade-and-services/ict/disaster-recovery-center/ .

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