Time is money, as they say, and it is also a key factor in IT disaster recovery. Take, for instance, the well-known recovery time objective or RTO, which defines how fast you should get back to normal operations after an IT incident.
However, time has an impact in more ways than one. While you may be focused on speed of recovery, another vital aspect of time may have escaped your attention altogether.
There may be little point in obsessing about an RTO if the disaster recovery plan defining it is itself out of date.
DR plans that are past their sell-by date may not only be useless. They may even be downright dangerous, instructing people to follow erroneous steps that could lead to further damage, now that systems and data repositories have changed. In this case, you may well be better off without a plan.
In that case, at least, you’ll be obliged to look at the situation and the solutions for what they are now, not for what they were then.
Assuming your disaster recovery plan is based on current information and requirements, you’ll still need to make sure that everybody’s understanding of time to recovery coincides.
That includes your business colleagues, who may expect more than servers coming back to life.
For example, real disaster recovery for them may mean all their teams working productively again, and therefore not only hardware and operating systems back up again, but also applications, communications, and any configurations they need to get on with their work.
Don’t forget about your vendors and disaster recovery solution providers, either. It may be time to make sure that the recovery they provide, albeit in the time required, is also the recovery that your business needs, whether at file, database, cloud application or data centre level.