VirtualThreat Guest Writer
Data centers are vital components for many of today’s companies, especially when it comes to disaster recovery planning. Within these data centers, companies can deploy sensitive equipment, such as servers and large-scale storage devices. These facilities also offer data backup features that can be beneficial during the recovery process after a disaster.
However, the use of data center isn’t all that’s needed for disaster recovery. Business continuity planning is also another aspect of disaster recovery management. Whereas data centers are defined as pre-emptive tangible measures, business continuity planning is a more theoretical approach. That is why business continuity professionals focus on awareness as well as training programs.
Business Continuity Models – Training and Awareness
The existence of a recovery plan in accordance with business continuity protocols is only part of successful recovery. The individual parts and people that work in unison for any disaster recovery plan are actually the most critical. Each person must be properly trained and made aware of their individual responsibilities.
For this purpose, regular information sessions have to be scheduled. A recovery plan involves various phases, each with the participation of different teams. Each team, such as those responsible for communications and damage control, have varying responsibilities. In addition, each person in a team has a specific duty. Individuals will perform best when they are clear on what their job is.
Regular training sessions are also imperative. A plan cannot be deemed as being successful unless it is tested out. In fact, stress testing is extremely important because it allows managers to gauge the efficiency of an operation. This helps them to consistently add new improvements or adjustments where needed.
Training sessions must involve simulations of actual disaster scenarios. These simulation sessions can include the introduction of hypothetical situations that have been identified as credible threats. For instance, data centers owned by a company might become inaccessible after a disaster has crippled transportation options. Members are then instructed to come up with a variety of solutions to solving the issue. Regular sessions such as these can encourage adaptation skills and problem-solving expertise within the workforce.
Formulation of a Training Policy
One step further in augmenting a company’s ability to recover from a disaster is to incorporate training procedures within standard company policies. A thorough training manual should be created and implemented. In addition, designating a department or creating a taskforce to handle recovery planning is incredibly useful. This can be done in lieu of hiring a disaster recovery professional on a contractual basis. A company can simply fill the taskforce with current employees or setup a department and permanently hire such personnel. By analyzing the company’s recovery plan every quarter, up-to-date changes and modifications can be made.
Companies can put in place pre-emptive measures for dealing with natural and man-made disasters. However, without adequate awareness and training amongst the workforce, such a plan may not be successful. For this purpose, it is important for companies to invest in training and awareness-generation protocols.
Oscar Atkinson analyzes different cities in the United States to determine the best locations for data centers and colocation. He strongly urges companies to seek out geographically “safe” cities when selecting a data center.