5 Reasons Why Disaster Recovery Processes Fail

As a CIO or IT manager, you may be wondering why you have experienced disaster recovery failure sometimes.

You’ve mapped out scenarios, you’ve scheduled backups of your software and data, and you’ve done some testing. And yet, why aren’t things getting back in order as quickly as planned?

What happened?

5 Potential Sources of Disaster Recovery Failure

Let’s take a look at some potential reasons why getting technology back online isn’t as simple as it may seem. Even the most seasoned system administrator may have problems getting even a “simple” website back online if common problems occur.

The fact is, technology isn’t perfect. It has vulnerabilities and areas of weakness that are simply par for the course. You should expect, even in the best of times, it won’t always work as planned.

Here are some reasons why disaster recovery may be more challenging for the tech people than you might realize:

1. The Database Has Been Corrupted

Here is the problem with databases: If they are being used, they are constantly recording transactions, often many at a time, and this can put a strain on the database server. Let’s say you had a security breach, and hackers got in and hammered your database with thousands of transactions per second. The server froze up, the database choked, and data in it got corrupted.

This is often hard to recover from fully. You have to sometimes make a choice between trying to rescue the most recent, corrupted version, or rolling back to an older version of the database, with a significant loss of data.

2. The Server Environment is Not Exactly the Same

Let’s say you had a server in use, perhaps for a website or internal use. Why isn’t it easy to just spin another one up and get things running again?

Here’s one reason why: Even if you create an image or snapshot of the server, servers are often in flux and being adjusted as time goes on. And let’s say that hardware also needed to be replaced.

Sometimes you simply cannot have the exact same environment set up even when you try to restore from an image or the same version of the software. It could be just a few things that are different…a slightly different setting for memory, or something, that gets lost in translation.

3. The Last Working Backup Only Works With an Older Version of the Software

While backups may be regularly scheduled, they often cannot fill on all of the gaps. So, here we have a scenario where your data is backed up, but it’s only compatible with an older version of the software, or vice versa, and getting those two things to come into sync may not be as easy as it seems.

4. The Previous Administrator Running Things Failed to Keep Up-to-Date Records

If you are a smaller company, then you are more likely to have an issue with a rogue administrator locking everything down – ostensibly for security purposes – and then he or she leaves without providing any information on passwords or their whereabouts.

5. You Have No Disaster Recovery Plan

Of course, if you have no plan at all, you are sure to have a hard time with disaster recovery.

Talk to Your IT People to Get a Disaster Recovery Plan Together

If you are a CIO, then you can rest assured that some of your IT people have a much better idea of what is actually going on with the network and systems than you do. Talk to them. Find out what the gaps are and create a plan to fill them.

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