How to Recover From a Disaster

Imagine that the unthinkable has happened - a natural disaster has hit the office, a deadly virus has infiltrated company networks or IT administrators have discovered a hole allowing years of unauthorised access. As a result of the natural or artificial intrusion, companies must enter disaster recovery mode in order to recover from the situation step by step.

Draw Up a Plan

The first step in the process of disaster recovery is to draw up a plan outlining the various departments that have been affected and which direct/indirect day-to-day processes are now at a standstill. For example, if a core data centre breaks down, how would the website be affected? If the site is down, can sales be taken from phones instead? Can calls be redirected to another centre in the country? Is there a backup system available that is able to recover business and customer data?

Notify any affected parties that could be impacted by the disaster so they can a) take action and b) make sure the damage does not spread. Furthermore, gather all important information related to evacuation processes, insurance details, employee and vendor contact details etc. If this information is lost, it could put a significant dent in recovery time.

Cloud Back-Up

After drawing up a plan, the next step is to consider business data that may or may not be lost. If back-up systems remain intact, then critical data can easily be restored. An important prevention tactic is to ensure that multiple physical servers are running in different locations to protect against any single point of failure.

Using the cloud as back-up is also proving to be popular with firms due to the virtual nature of its storage - as well as its secure nature. According to a recent study by AT&T, 67 per cent of respondent businesses are utilising wireless network capabilities within their business continuity plans, while 38 per cent are investing heavily into cloud computing due to its performance, security and cost savings. By storing back-up data in the cloud and updating regularly, businesses can reduce the time needed to recover from a disaster thanks to the 'access anywhere' nature of the service; allowing the firm to continue with other business operations.


The next step is to consider the time frame of the disaster recovery plan. If a company needs to be back up and running immediately, then processes such as virtualisation can help support this. Through virtualisation (which mirrors a firm's primary systems without duplicating the hardware), firms can resurrect their services in a flash - thanks to the replica. This is especially useful for e-commerce firms which run in a real-time, online environment. Firms that work within longer time frames can give themselves a few days rather than minutes in order to recover the appropriate data.

A difficult but wholly necessary aspect of a business, disaster recovery is a procedure that no firm wishes to undertake. However, due to the severity of what can happen when a disaster strikes, it's integral that businesses plan ahead in order to be prepared for when the worst happens. With the right tools and a lot of planning, disaster recovery can be a quick, easy way to bring a business back from the brink.

PEER 1 Hosting 's Disaster Recovery Suite provides the broadest range of options to help you make the smartest business decision across all these areas. With the Disaster Recovery Suite you can backup your files, your database, or your entire software configuration. You can store your backups where your servers are located, at another of our data centres, or a mix of both. And all your backups are done to efficient, fast and reliable disk media, not tape. Whether you have a single server or a thousand, the Disaster Recovery Suite lets you pick the type of backup you need, at the cost you've budgeted, with the protection you demand.