Today we have a guest editorial from Andy Warren.
We’re in a line of work where we plan for problems. People forget the where clause, drives fail, sometimes a server fails, but all of those are common and mundane, even if stressful to deal with. We also try to plan for the big disasters, the cases where the building burns down or worse. That’s hard planning, because it seems so notional, and it’s just not easy to figure out a plan that is realistic in terms of time to implement and cost. We do what we can, and we know that in the worst cases we’re pretty good problem solvers and we’ll figure something out.
We focus on the hardware and the software and the data, but we tend to forget about the people, the most important, most expensive, most fragile part of the disaster plan. I saw this first hand a few years ago in Orlando, a hurricane was inbound and we were keeping people at the office, not letting them go home soon enough to prepare. After the hurricane many had storm damage or no water or no power, but we needed them back in the office to get stuff going. And that’s a minor disaster in the scheme of things!
In a real disaster you’re going to lose people. Some hurt or worse, some that have to take care of families or neighbors, and some that maybe just can’t get from where they are to where you are. It might be you that is the one that is missing. How good does your DR plan work without you?
You can’t plan for everything; you do the best you can. But make sure that plan includes what to do if you’re not available to implement the plan.