Data Center Disaster Recovery: What Is It & Why You Need It

Disasters come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s a Category 5 storm or a ransomware attack, you need a plan to deal with the fallout. Having a recovery plan will help, but it may not be all that you need. Keeping your data in-house puts you at risk of losing it if a disaster strikes. An off-site data center offers an extra level of protection for storing, protecting, and recovering your data so you can keep serving your customers.

Data center disaster recovery is the inclusion of data centers in your disaster recovery plan. Business continuity and disaster recovery work together to provide a holistic approach to data recovery. You can design your plan with a business impact analysis and testing. With TenHats, you get a data center built to grow with your business.


What is Data Center Disaster Recovery?

Data center disaster recovery is the reliance on backup servers to restore critical information in the event of a disaster. Disasters can come in many forms. For example, there are natural disasters such as earthquakes, flooding, or tornadoes. Man-made disasters can occur as cyberattacks or malfunctioning hardware due to human error or poor maintenance.

Regardless of what causes disaster, an unexpected event can result in considerable downtime that can affect your bottom line and reputation.

This is where having a data center disaster recovery plan, or DR plan for short, comes into play. It allows professional organizations to replicate and create a data backup of critical information, letting them resume operations after. This allows you to maintain service in the event of a disaster such as a hurricane or a cyberattack, preventing the loss of revenue as well as the loss of confidence in your business.


Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery Planning

Man and woman dressed in business attire shaking hands while smiling

Business continuity and disaster recovery planning are distinct from one another. However, they work together to support your organization if a disaster were to occur. Creating a data center disaster recovery strategy starts with establishing business continuity. This allows your organization to perform regular business functions if a disaster were to occur.

It’s important to think on a cross-departmental level when creating a business continuity plan. Having one or more people in each department on board forms the basis for your business continuity team.

This allows you to:

  • Address problems holistically
  • Ensure that data loss is minimal or even prevented
  • Preserve critical information during an emergency


There is no one-size-fits-all to business continuity and each plan will look different. It allows for a more holistic approach where data center disaster recovery is one aspect of a more extensive, overall plan.

Your organization’s disaster recovery planning is the result of your business continuity plan. Once you have established and ranked your key services, you can then outline how to keep your IT working properly during a disaster.

Every department in your organization should have its own disaster recovery plan as part of your larger business continuity plan. When an emergency happens, your interdepartmental disaster recovery team will be there to ensure business continuity across the entire organization.


Designing Your Data Center Disaster Recovery Plan

You can start designing your recovery plan in a few steps:

  1. Partner with a disaster recovery data center
  2. Identify your disaster recovery team
  3. Conduct a business impact analysis
  4. Establish your recovery time and recovery point objectives
  5. Test your disaster recovery plan


1. Partner with a Disaster Recovery Data Center

Choosing the right data center can make or break your disaster recovery plan. Fortunately, TenHats has everything you need to keep your data safe whether you’ve experienced a cyberattack or a tornado. This includes crucial services such as 24/7 customer support, cybersecurity, and 24/7 physical security. Being located in Knoxville, TN, we are at a low risk for natural disasters.


2. Identify Your Disaster Recovery Team

Having a disaster recovery team is essential if you want to create a holistic recovery plan. Not only is this group pivotal for keeping things running smoothly during disasters, but they also provide different perspectives on your operations. Their input guarantees that your plan is comprehensive and effective.

Downtime isn’t just an IT problem, so it’s also important to include your leadership team in the development of your plan. You should also assign ownership of the overall plan to someone who understands the full scope of the plan and its impact. It may also help to talk to your vendors and other partners to see how they developed their disaster recovery plans.


3. Conduct a Business Impact Analysis

A business impact analysis (BIA) is an in-depth audit designed to determine how a disruption will affect your business. It helps to pinpoint gaps in your IT and identifies how they could affect your business during a disaster.

To get started, have each department complete a survey of its top three to five critical processes. This should include a risk assessment and documentation for each process. The results they provide will help determine their core processes and resources for maintaining business continuity.


4. Establish Your Recovery Time and Recovery Point Objectives

Recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) help take your business impact analysis to the next level. Your recovery time objective is the maximum amount of time your business can have between a disaster and resuming normal business. This includes what steps your IT department must take to restore applications and their data.

Your recovery point objective is the maximum amount of data your organization can lose before seriously impacting your business. In this case, you should pinpoint when the disaster occurred and restore your systems to that time. As replication of data becomes more common, the times for recovery point objectives are becoming shorter and shorter.


5. Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan

Testing is pivotal if you want an effective data center disaster recovery plan. This can be done in different ways, but one of the most effective is the tabletop exercise where you act out a simulated disaster. This will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your plan so that you can refine it.

Set goals before the exercise as well as ground rules. Select your participants and have a disaster scenario in mind. It’s also important to consider third-party vendors and ask them to participate. Conduct your disaster exercise and document your results so you can refine your plan. Make sure to not assign blame or fault, regardless of results.


TenHats: Your Disaster Recovery Solution

Disaster recovery plans are important for practically all businesses. A colocation data center can take your recovery plan to the next level, providing long-term offsite storage for all of your information. Data centers provide extra layers of security for your data and daily operations, giving you peace of mind in case anything goes wrong.

This includes:

  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • High security
  • Scalability
  • HIPAA and SOC II security
  • Around-the-clock support


With TenHats, you get all this and more. We’re a fully redundant and fault-tolerant data center, meaning that we offer virtually everything your business needs plus much more to support your growth. We’re your first choice when looking for a data center disaster recovery solution.


Does your disaster recovery plan need a data center to be complete? Contact us today to start a conversation!


Data center disaster recovery is the use of backup servers to restore critical information in a disaster. A holistic approach to data recovery includes creating a business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan. For the best plan possible, it’s important to test it to catch any flaws. Partnering with TenHats gives you a data center built to grow with your business.


In 2016, TenHats built the region’s first purpose-built colocation data center in over 20 years. Located in Knoxville, TN, our data center can serve any organization in East Tennessee and beyond. With our team’s IT experience, we provide a lot more than simply protected data. When you call us, you talk to a real IT expert. Connect with our team about our data center today!

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