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Why Your Company Should Have a Business Continuity Plan?

Author: Kunal kishore | Categories: B2B Online Excellence, Website Security, Websites, Website Design & User Experience, Web Content Management

Today's business exists in a highly competitive world. We must constantly evolve to meet business objectives of providing essential and distinctive services to an ever-changing world. One way we accomplish this is via a website which is responsive, even at crucial times. To ensure a website has a 99.99% uptime, we must first understand the definition and significance of 99.99% uptime of website and associated infrastructure. A responsive server and recovery time can make or break a business, therefore it is a highly integral part of any business's operations.

Server Uptime Explained

One can't mention server monitoring without mentioning server uptime. Server uptime means low server failure in conjunction with low failure recovery time. Thus, a 99.99% server uptime means that we cannot have failure for more than 4 min. 32 secs or else the Service Level Agreement (SLA) of having 99.99% uptime will be violated. Now, let’s take a closer look at how we define uptime percentage.

99.99% for a month (30 days)
(30*24) – 99.99% (30*24) => 720 – .9999 * 720 => 720 – 719.928 => 0.072 hrs => 4 min 32 secs

The above calculation clearly shows that we can’t have a server downtime for more than 4 min 32 secs. At any given point we can’t take more than five minutes to recover from a server's failure state.

Downtime reduction

Now that you understand server uptime, let's take a look at the next steps to ensure a 99.99% uptime for a website's production server.

Define a Backup Plan

There's a very famous saying which states that it is better to plan in advance rather saying sorry at the end. I firmly believe in these words in regards to server monitoring. We at edynamic strive to provide downtime free server monitoring. The motivation behind our downtime free plan is because we always want to have an answer for the “What if” question.

"What if my server goes down?"
"What if I need to perform scheduled maintenance?"
"What if the team is not around and website stops responding?"

At the core of these questions is the need for a backup plan in order to maintain business as usual. Or in technical terms, to have a Business Continuity Plan/Disaster Recovery Plan (BCP/DRP).

Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

A Business Continuity plan's purpose is to ensure that your business stays up and running even after a catastrophic disaster. If you do not have a data recovery plan in place, create one immediately! Companies have lost untold sums of money because they did not have a recovery plan in place. In the worst case scenario, companies have had to close their doors permanently because they were unable to recover vital information required to operate the business.

Three Important Questions to ask when writing a BCP

Pay close attention to three key questions when you are planning your BCP.

What needs to be protected?
The first step is to identify all assets which require disaster protection. An easy hint in identifying these crucial assets is by asking, "If this item goes down, will my server uptime be impacted?" You need to protect your company from a potential disaster which could impact your server uptime's continuity.

How will the plan protect it?
Create and finalize a disaster recovery plan once the crucial assets are identified. This plan is important because it will detail how your company will recover in the event of a disaster.

Educate key management to the plan and validate the test!
It is vital to educate the necessary management and employees who are directly or indirectly involved in server monitoring and will get impacted from server downtime. Periodically having server drills will enable your company to discover any weaknesses in your preparedness plan and make changes to the plan to shore up any weaknesses.

Business continuity planning

Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

A DRP's main objective is to ensure that the technology and infrastructure which supports business are up and running. The two most important factors associated with a Disaster Recovery Plan is a: Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO).

Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

The RPO is the point in time to which business must recover data according to the organization's definition. To put it plainly, the RPO is what a business determines is an “acceptable loss” in the event of disaster. The RPO dictates which replication method will be required (i.e. nightly backups, continuous replication, snapshots) to recover the important information.

Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

RTO is the duration of time and a service level within which a business's process must be restored after a disaster to prevent unacceptable losses. RTO begins when a disaster hits and does not end until all systems are up and running.

Websites have become vital tools in the day-to-day operations of a business. Therefore, when a server goes down or a disaster interferes with company data, the only thing standing between minimal down time and a business closure is a data recovery plan.