Why A Server Recovery Plan Is A Must For All Organizations

The need for server recovery software and services, from RAID to Oracle to Exchange, has increased markedly in the past five years, owing mainly to the lower costs of server hardware. In the early 2000s, for example, small to mid-sized organizations tended to buy and use less high end applications, but as overall server costs began to shrink markedly, the demand for these mission critical programs increased. Now, it’s common to see companies with less than 10 employees operating a new Microsoft Exchange server, storing their customer data on a RAID server or handling their CRM on a NAS. Use of these technologies can, however, prove to be a double-edged sword.

Smaller organizations, almost as a rule, tend to make decisions faster, have more accountability and take quicker action than larger ones, which frequently operate by committee. When RAID and other high end servers fail, however, this can be a disadvantage. When a server hard drive failure occurs on a system hosting a mission-critical program, the results can be catastrophic – certainly not the best time to consider a “do it yourself strategy”. Yet many smaller organizations have great trust in their IT administrators, and this trust, particularly in high-end server recovery, can be unwarranted.

Developing A Server Recovery Action Plan

Does your organization have a server recovery action plan? If it’s like most, it does not. The fact is, most people just don’t expect relatively “safe” server setups like RAID 5 and above to catastrophically fail. This, of course, is why having a plan is so necessary. When the unlikely does occur, panic can follow. Consider these steps when creating your server data recovery action plan:

Catalog Important Resources – One of the easiest ways to plan for server data recovery is simply to gather important resources like vendor sites, support raid server recovery forums and hard drive recovery companies and have that information available for all IT staff. No one wants to be running around looking for these important resources when the organization is frozen because of a dead RAID server – planning helps to avoid one of the biggest data killers: panic.

Have An Expert At The Ready РWhen something bad happens to a server, the first instinct is to attempt to perform data recovery without the help of a professional. After all, IT administrators typically have a huge base of knowledge to work from, and egos may come into play here. This is the typical action, but also the worst. Employing an expert that deals with issues like database corruption and server hard drive failures on a daily basis is impossible for most organizations, but having a list of important expert phone numbers is not. Calling an expert in times of real emergency is the best idea, as when hard drives and databases fail, taking action yourself commonly makes things worse, and not better.

Have A Backup¬†– Yes, it sounds like common sense. But what many organizations do not plan for is an all-out server hard drive failure. So, for example, a downed Exchange server can take the organization down for hours, even days, during an emergency. Having a daily backup plan and a go-to server (a lower end PC, perhaps, with a single drive, but the ability to “instantly connect”) when times are tough means that all server failures become seamless – thereby greatly lessening the “emergency level” of the problem. This way, the organization “doesn’t know” that a major issue has occurred, and it’s business as usual while the systems are recovered.

Leave a Comment