As the world becomes more risky, the disaster recovery strategy becomes essential


Ken Brock, Director of Business Resilience, Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Revelations like these helped inform the 90-page business continuity plan that CDW spent several months creating for the IEA.

This plan outlines who is responsible for what emergency-related tasks, where employees will work if an office becomes unusable, and even granular details such as contact information for local emergency services in each of the areas where the business operates.

Along with writing the plan, Newgent says, CDW helped the IEA make better use of its existing Microsoft Azure tools, such as the Sentinel security information and event management functionality. With better application of solutions like this, Newgent notes, the IEA can prevent disasters resulting from cyberattacks.

Travis Otting, the CDW business consulting analyst who led business continuity planning for IEA, notes that the company had already moved most of its infrastructure to the cloud before the planning process began.

However, he says, many organizations stop there and fail to create a solid plan that can get them through a disaster.

“Moving to the cloud doesn’t take into account what might happen to a location, or employee safety,” says Otting. “It only covers the technology, not the business.”

READ MORE: Find out how innovative technology can make workspaces more resilient.

How a disaster recovery plan can get you back to business

Pentagon Federal Credit Union, one of the largest in the nation, categorizes its IT infrastructure and applications into five levels of disaster recovery service, says Ken Brock, director of business resilience.

“As an industry best practice, the higher the service level, the higher the availability and resiliency requirements, and the more rigorous the testing,” says Brock. “The higher the level of service, the less downtime we will tolerate. This is necessary to better serve our members.

This delicate balance illustrates how disaster recovery and business continuity are as much business challenges as technology challenges. PenFed uses a range of tools to help ensure business continuity following a disaster.

PenFed has private data centers in different regions, following industry best practices, and has developed a combination of private data centers, colocation centers and private cloud solutions. The current strategy relies on a panoply of solutions and partners.

“There are many high availability applications or platforms out there, and most of them are focused on improving resiliency,” says Brock.

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