Disasters come in many forms. It can be a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado that causes damage. It might be a major power outage. It could be an attack by hackers or even human error by a company employee.
When a disaster happens, you need to get your business up and running as quickly as possible because downtime is expensive. Having a data-center disaster recovery checklist minimizes the impact of outages and enables faster data and application recovery when there is a failure.
One of the reasons so many companies have moved to cloud-based, off-site data centers is that virtualization makes data recovery easier. Virtualization can help protect your data and applications by creating virtual machine backups and storing them remotely. If a disaster occurs, you can quickly adapt and resume operations using the backup.
When choosing a data-center solution, several factors can make a significant difference in the time it takes to recover. These items should be on your data-center disaster recovery checklist:
- Data-center power redundancy. Data centers should have a backup uninterrupted power-supply system, along with long-term power redundancy. The entire facility should be connected to generators and transfer switches to provide near-immediate recovery. Fault-tolerant infrastructure and power feeds should be backed by 24/7 year-round monitoring and support. Also, there should be diverse A/B power feeds and A/B power to racks.
- Data-center network redundancy. At minimum, data centers should have redundant core and edge network infrastructures. Ideally, your data center should have connections to multiple fiber vendors and the ability to reroute traffic in case of interruption along the path.
- Data-center security redundancy. Security should be a high priority, with safeguards implemented to assure access to facilities and networks. Biometric secure site access and private access cage availability should be options.
- Data-center environmental redundancy. In addition to redundant cooling systems, data centers should monitor environmental controls, such as heating, cooling, humidity and ventilation. Air-conditioning systems should be equipped with excess capacity to manage the failure of some units. Sensors should also be in place to send an alarm in case of a problem, such as water leaking into the facility.
- Data center Having a data center near you can reduce latency and make it easier for staff to work on collocated servers. Data can be stored on multiple servers, which limits the impact of device failures. Data can also be backed up across multiple data-center sites, which limits the impact of power failures or a natural disaster at any one site. Multiple sites in geographically diverse locations are necessary to assure reliability and simplify data recovery.
- RTO and RPO criteria. You want to minimize any downtime or interruption to your organization. The faster you can recover, the faster you can get back to business. In choosing a data center for colocation or building your data center disaster recovery plan, you want to pay attention to two types of measurements:
- Recovery time objective (RTO). RTO is the amount of downtime an organization can tolerate when there is a failure – in other words, how much time can a company’s data be inaccessible before there are significant consequences. Different businesses have different thresholds of what’s acceptable. Any disaster recovery plan should take this tolerance into account and provide a way to meet or exceed an individual business’ threshold.
- Recovery point objective (RPO). RPO focuses on a company’s tolerance for the number of time intervals between a loss event and the most recent backup. For example, backing up data every 24 hours means that in case of a disaster, you’ll only lose 24 hours’ worth of data. That may be acceptable for some companies or applications. For others, it may not be acceptable.
In both cases, you should discuss RTO and RPO needs for your business and outline RTO and RPO objectives in your service-level agreement with your data-center provider.
- Data-center support and monitoring. The best data-center disaster recovery plan is one that prevents disruptions from occurring in the first place. Data centers should provide 24/7 year-round monitoring from a network operations center staffed with technicians, rather than relying on an on-call system.
- Business relocation. While building your data center disaster recovery checklist, another item to consider is off-site facilities or a temporary location that enables your business to operate in a business-as-usual manner.
Complimentary Data-Center RFP Template
LOGIX recommends incorporating these concepts in any decision-making process about a data center for colocation. For that reason, LOGIX developed and encourages you to download this free data-center request for proposal (RFP) template that provides a collection of best practices from industry experts, including several of the largest enterprise data-center providers, leading data-center and colocation trade journals, research analysts, data-center managers, and enterprise information technology experts. It has guidelines for businesses to consider when scoping out colocation data center requirements and evaluating providers.
LOGIX Data Centers
LOGIX Fiber Networks provides robust, fiber-connected data centers in Houston, Dallas and Austin. With 280,000 fiber miles of dedicated and owned fiber, LOGIX connects 105 data centers, 3,000 enterprise buildings and 10,000 demanding Texas businesses.
With a flexible and highly reliable infrastructure, robust connectivity options and customized solutions, LOGIX colocation data centers are an enterprise-class solution, whether your organization needs a data hall, private cage, multiple racks or flexible power configurations.
Contact LOGIX today for more information about data-center colocation.